Xenon Corporation’s Printed Electronics Testing Network Offers Expertise in Wide Range of PE Disciplines
Entrepreneurs working on new projects utilizing printed electronics can find the process daunting. Often, they are matching new substrates and materials, and the choice of a manufacturing process in itself is challenging, as there is a huge difference between R&D and production.
In reality, it can take years for companies to determine what actually works, and time is always of the essence.
To help these innovators navigate the many challenges they face, a group of companies and universities have formed the Printed Electronics Testing Network (PETN). Formed by Xenon Corporation, this network is offering companies and universities the opportunity to come into their facilities, learn if their applications will work and offer advice on possible improvements.
The goal of the Printed Electronics Testing Network is to support research and development, share knowledge across the network, and through these efforts, to advance the practical use of printed electronics in commercial applications.
“Our past business models have shown that by working closely on a global basis with critical technologies required for achieving successful R&D for emerging markets, one can establish test centers that can expedite proof of concept in a relatively short time at a very cost effective approach,” said Louis Panico, CEO at Xenon Corporation.
“The Printed Electronics Testing Network immediately provides a technical collaboration of multi-formulation, dispensing companies and integrators with high energy ‘pulsed light’ sources for addressing key issues of PE process development and manufacturability,” Panico added.
The PETN members have a wide range of disciplines, beginning with Xenon Corporation’s sintering capabilities, which convert the printed ink layer into a solid uniform layer of conductive material through the use of pulsed light, as well as inks, printers and more.
“Xenon’s strongest capability is providing the equipment and technology for “Pulsed Light” sintering of metallic inks for the printed electronic markets,” Panico said. “Xenon brings five decades of experience in “Pulsed Light” technology to facilitate the development and manufacturability of printed electronics products. We have thousands of pulsed light systems operating 24/7 on worldwide production lines.”
Xenon’s sintering systems are available at all of the PETN facilities. Companies interested in joining the PETN can contact Xenon, and those who are interested in testing can contact Xenon at
“We are seeing an abundance of requests for the Testing Network from end-users and machine makers,” Panico said. “The quantity of application testing requests is growing exponentially. The biggest challenge is bringing the printed electronics market from the R&D stage to meeting the needs of a variety of R2R processes, specifically substrate adhesion and metallic ink thickness.”
Intrinsiq Materials manufactures nanoparticle-based screen and inkjet inks. Dr. Sujatha Ramanujan, chief operating officer for Intrinsiq Materials, said there is a lot to consider when it comes to developing printed electronics applications.
“When people want to test out their systems, we invite them to come in and work with our engineers,” Dr. Ramanujan said. “There is a lot of interaction between substrates, inks and sintering, and we want to find out the best solution that the customer will know works. If you send an ink without a clear explanation of what to do, it’s not very useful. “
Methode Electronics offers conductive inks, dielectrics and resistive carbon technologies that can be printed by screen, flexo, gravure and inkjet. Paul Lindquist, business development manager at Methode Electronics, said that while a few sectors of printed electronics, such as screen printing polymer thick films, have been around a significant time, a vast majority of the printed electronics market is emerging.
“The various contributing components are not as well understood and substrate, ink, curing and printing technologies are far more sensitive in the printed electronics market then traditional printing,” Lindquist noted. “This makes it very critical for co-suppliers to the market to collaborate to enable solutions for end users. Methode Electronics Inc. joined the Printed Electronic Testing Network because, like Xenon, we saw the need for this collaboration to help the printed electronics market emerge.”
Lindquist noted that the company has spent a significant amount of development time on ink interaction with the substrates, curing and printing mechanisms.
“We are capable of printing conductive circuitry on porous and non-porous substrates and have worked with co-suppliers to be able to offer a total solution to our customer base, making it easier for the customer to put the process to work for them,” Lindquist said. “The challenges from end-users range from initial feasibility, building prototypes, meeting standards that have been based on a different means of creating the circuit, cost requirements although way to taking the plunge to invest in capital equipment for a production line. In almost all applications, the end-user are either innovators or early adopters and change is always difficult.”
Dr. Rich Baker, president of Integrity Industrial Ink Jet Integration, an inkjet specialist, said that working with customers is a far better approach than simply handing them a test kit and sending them on their way without guidance.
“Instead of giving clients toolkits, we want to work with customers to develop the process,” said Dr. Baker. “The reality is that test kits have nothing to do with the manufacturing process. There are so many different fluids, substrates and applications that people will take years and make many mistakes along the way.
“Together, we can offer our expertise to help our customers determine what will work best for their application,” Dr. Baker said. “We feel we can work with our partners in the Test Network to come up with complete solutions. It's a great idea.”
“To end-users determining if a printed electronics solution is suitable for their application, it can be a very daunting task that requires a lot of ‘in house’ expertise,” Lindquist added. “The advantage of the Printed Electronics Testing Network is that it minimizes the contact points to determine if an application is feasible. For the members, having any collaboration which speeds up the adoption of printed electronics is good for the group overall. The more successes in the market, the greater the opportunities that will follow.”
SonoPlot specializes in material deposition technology, including its Microplotters, which are R&D scale devices. Glen Donald, CEO of SonoPlot, said the collaborative nature of the PETN partners is benefitting customers.
“We are developing relationships with ink vendors to create custom products that fit our customers’ needs,” said Donald. “We are able to develop complete solutions that customers can take home with them.”
“Now that we have a good curing solution we can help people who are using flexible substrates,” added Dr. Brad Larson, SonoPlot’s chief technology officer. “With Xenon, we can work with a wide range of inks and cure them in a matter of minutes. We have had several people come to us looking to enhance their operations or to develop new applications.”
The printed electronics industry is worldwide, and the testing network also spans the globe. For example, Peter Schullerer of Polytec, a specialist in measuring instruments, said that his company is seeing rapidly growing interest in printed electronics in Europe. He added that it is good to have the chance to offer photonic sintering expertise directly to customers.
“We see rapidly increasing interest coming from universities and institutes and more and more from the R&D departments in industry,” Schullerer said. “The Printed Electronics Testing Network brings the photonic sintering knowledge and testing capabilities much closer to the customer. As a member, we profit having an even closer connection to the end customers.
“Our customers keep us and our lab very busy,” Schullerer added. “One challenge for us is the huge variety of printed materials, printing techniques and substrates our customer bring for testing purposes.”
Gianluigi Guarato, product manager for Elexind s.r.l., said that printed electronics is a new, exciting business opportunity, and being part of this network helps him become more acquainted with evolutions of this technology.
“Networking always offers great advantage of cross fertilization and sharing of developments,” Mr. Guarato said. “We see the market growing linearly until 2016, then in 2017 it will grow even more, and near exponential until 2020.”
“There is a lot of development going on,” said Mark Dahlin, senior engineer, TEXMAC Inc., which works with Newlong Screen Printing, a screenprinting equipment manufacturer whose machines run the gamut from R&D to roll-to-roll for production. “We can screenprint conductive ink on circuit boards, and Xenon can sinter it immediately. This demonstrates to customers how they can use printing and sintering hand in hand.”
The ability to learn from partners and customers is a benefit for PETN members. Dr. Ramanujan said that the network is already paying dividends for customers and partners alike.
“We’ve had clients come in already and test their applications,” Dr. Ramanujan said. “It also helps us learn a lot about what our customers are working on.”
Lindquist said that Methode feels that there will be tremendous growth in the printed electronics market, but acceptance of new technologies takes time. He added that PETN will help end-users develop new products.
“Some sectors will adapt the technology at a faster pace and in others it may not make a dent,” Lindquist said. “Collaborations among co-suppliers such as the Printed Electronics Testing Network as well as increased development and end-user awareness will increase the opportunities and contribute to further growth in the printed electronics market.”
Panico noted that Xenon Corporation is seeing growth in the printed electronics market, with more than 50 installations worldwide at printed electronics sites, many at various stages of moving towards production. She added that Xenon expects 50 additional installations in 2013, and so far, the company is on track.
“We are very optimistic about printed electronics and plan to continue investing heavily in our engineering programs to support this exciting market,” Panico concluded.
Coatema Wins JEC Composites Innovation Award
22nd of November 2010
Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH was awarded the JEC Composites Innovation Award for 2010 for Impregnating, Laminating and Calendering with maximum flexibility and process versatility in the patented Coatema Click&Coat machinery concept.
The prestigious prize was presented by Prof. Klaus Drechsler, of the University of Stuttgart, to Andrea Glawe, Deputy Sales Director of Coatema, during the annual JEC Composites 2010 event in Singapore.
When asked about the differences between the Click&Coat concept and conventional technologies Frau Glawe said, "The innovation in this concept is our modular approach designed for flexibility and future expansion."
Glawe explained that this not only includes quick change coating heads but also many critical process components which can be moved into position by a simple "click" and connected to a recently developed master control system.
Combinations of 40 different modules for various processes are possible without expensive and time consuming mechanical and electronic alternations.
Adjustable floor rollers on each module, the unique Click&Coat connector system and minimum cabling requirements make changes and expansions very user friendly.
This versatility provides for a maximum of process variants for coating, drying, curing, cleaning, calendaring and other critical process technologies.
Combined with Coatema´s well-known changeable modular coating and printing systems the Click&Coat technology cannot be matched for flexibility and as such is well-deserved of the JEC Innovation Award 2010 in the “Process” category.
"It makes it possible to react to technology change requirement in a time, cost and space saving way," concluded Glawe.
Coatema reports that the first Click&Coat prepreg line, with a working width of 800 mm, is currently being installed. It will be capable of implementing 5 different coating methods for direct or indirect coating on paper, rovings and other typical composite substrates.
The JEC Composites Show 2011 will take place in Paris from the 29th to the 31st of March 2011. The prepreg specialists at Coatema are looking forward to meeting you at the exhibition on booth V71.
China uses Aixtron to move into GaN power electronics
Dec 06, 2012
Dynax Semiconductor is to receive its first Aixtron production system to manufacture gallium nitride on silicon carbide (SiC) and silicon substrates
Chinese firm, Dynax Semiconductor Inc. has placed its first purchase order for an Aixtron Close Coupled Showerhead (CCS) CRIUS MOCVD system.
Aixtron CCS system
The reactor will be used to produce GaN and related nitride semiconductor epitaxial layers on SiC and silicon substrates for microwave and power devices.
Aixtron says it will be the first system in China dedicated to GaN electronics.
After installation and commissioning the system is now ready to produce high quality GaN epi-wafers.
“This is an important step for us”, NaiQian Zhang, President and CEO of Dynax Semiconductors, comments. “High power and high efficiency GaN electronic devices are the key components for next generation power management and data communications. This disruptive technology will help us achieve a sustainable society. The Aixtron reactor is a proven system for this application".
Frank Wischmeyer, Vice President and Program Manager Power Electronics at Aixtron, says, “The Dynax technical team already has extensive experience with Aixtron’s CCS technology. We are looking forward to supporting the customer with our expertise on accelerating the GaN power device market introduction in China.”
Compared to conventional silicon devices, GaN electronic devices provide superior performance in RF and power electronic applications in terms of efficiency and power density.
But two major challenges have to be met.
Due to the strong lattice mismatch between GaN and foreign substrates, GaN has to be grown in a special process.
To compete with silicon devices, manufacturing costs have to be as low as possible which requires MOCVD technology to provide high uniformity and reproducibility.
Dynax Semiconductor Inc., Suzhou, was founded in 2011 to manufacture GaN electronic devices. The company is based in Kunshan, Jiangsu province in east China. Dynax produces electronic devices for electronics, data communications, automotives, and motor control markets.
A*STAR SIMTech Sees Future in Game Changing Printed Electronics and Functional Films
SINGAPORE, 23 November 2011: Key business leaders from the organic and printed electronics industry throughout Asia, Europe and the US converge in Singapore for the international symposium on roll-to-roll processing of printed electronics and functional films to share on advanced technologies, applications and market opportunities. Hosted by the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and in co-operation with the Organic and Printed Electronics Association and the Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the event is held in conjunction with the roll-out of SIMTech’s Large Area Processing Programme.
2. Dr Raj Thampuran, Executive Director, A*STAR’s Science and Engineering Research Council said, “A*STAR researchers have made significant advancements in the field of printed electronics and I am glad that experts from all over the world are here to learn about SIMTech’s newly formed large area processing programme which will launch more industry collaborations in this area and grow this sector in Singapore.”
3. Emerging applications such as photovoltaics, flexible electronics and solid-state lighting which require large area functional and often flexible surfaces are the key factors driving up the demand for roll-to-roll manufacturing. With a global market valued at US$2B in 2011 and expected to worth over US$40B by 2020, it opens up immense commercial opportunities for key industry sectors such as advertising, building, consumer electronics, healthcare and printed media.
4. Unlike conventional semiconductor fabrication which requires batch processing of wafers, the large-area processing system involves a continuous printing press-like manufacturing process compatible with flexible polymer. Using roll-to-roll processing, functional materials can be printed on thin, light-weight, flexible and transparent plastic films. Broad industry applications include ambient lighting, portable backlight for outdoor advertising, portable signages, automotive, aerospace and buildings.
5. By leveraging on disruptive manufacturing technology platforms, SIMTech's Large Area Processing Programme aims to develop more innovative "Made in Singapore" products with novel coating, patterning, embossing web control and web inspection techniques that are not available in the industry today.
6. Dr Lim Ser Yong, Executive Director of SIMTech said, “We are collaborating closely with the print and media industries in Singapore to capture emerging market opportunities in state-of-the-art high speed printing such as inkjet printing, screen printing and flexographic printing to deposit functional materials in roll-to-roll manufacturing processes. This will transform the printing industry into a new industry in printed electronics and functional films.”
7. Ms Julia Ng, Director of Manufacturing and Construction Division of Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) said, “We are pleased to support the inaugural international symposium where advanced technologies, applications and market opportunities are shared among key business leaders. Large Area Processing is an emerging technology, which will create new employment opportunities for the workforce. To this end, WDA will continue to work closely with SIMTech to leverage this technology to build new manpower capabilities.”
8. Strategic industry-driven collaborations with key industry partners include application examples such as printed heating film for blood or liquid warming in medical applications and printed lighting film for ambient or decorative lighting in advertising and building applications.
9. SIMTech is hosting the first-ever OE-A Working Group Meeting in Asia and the Symposium on Roll-to-Roll Processing of Printed Electronics and Functional Films. The sponsors are aNexus, Coatema, Dimatix and Singapore Workforce Development Agency.
New Large Area UV Curing System for Semiconductor and display applications
For Semiconductor and Display Application Cures, XENON CORP Introduces LUXON 300—The New "Large Area" Pulsed UV Curing System
20 November 2012
Xenon Corporation announces the development- and availability- of the Luxon 300 Modular Light System, designed to provide pulsed UV curing for the large area targets of semiconductors and display applications. The dual 12” U lamps are at the heart of the system and can process areas to 12” x 12” or 12” (300mm) diameter with unprecedented cure uniformity. The system was specifically developed to meet the demanding requirements of inline curing applications that include low heat and fast throughput which cannot be solved with mercury UV systems.
In addition to low heat and fast throughput, the benefits and features that the market has come to expect from Xenon lamps are continued in The Luxon 300: lower power consumption, high peak power coupled with deep penetration, and instant start/stop.
Applications include semiconductor processing and displays. The Luxon 300 also is excellent for medical device manufacturing, pharmaceutical packaging, and sintering applications. Because of its abilities to bond without damage, The Luxon 300 is ideal for use with plastics, and its rapid, low heat curing capabilities are attractive to manufacturers of adhesives, inks and coatings.
The Luxon 300, which is available as OEM or stand-alone, is designed to function as part of integrated manufacturing systems that operate continuously, (24/7), producing high yields with minimum downtime. A low voltage, optically isolated I/O using a programmable controller handles system interfacing. The system holds promise for long-term reliable operation.
AIXTRON sells first 300mm Graphene System to AIST Japan
Aachen/Germany, April 11, 2011 – AIXTRON SE today announced a new order for the first automated 300 mm Black Magic system for Graphene deposition from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan. The unique properties of Graphene make it an extremely promising channel material for next generation microelectronics and high frequency applications.
AIST placed the order in the first quarter of 2011 and the system will be delivered in the third quarter of 2011. The system will be installed in the AIST Super Clean Room at Tsukuba and commissioned by the local AIXTRON support team.
The AIXTRON automated Black Magic Graphene system met the very challenging requirements by the project group of Synthesis and Transfer Application of Graphene at the Collaborative Research Team Green Nanoelectronics Center (GNC). The system will be used for the development and application of Nanocarbon materials, which is one of the three main research assignments of GNC established at AIST in April 2010.
Dr Ken Teo, Director of Nanoinstruments at AIXTRON, comments, “We are providing the most technologically advanced platform for Graphene production available today and I believe it is the world's first 300mm size commercial system ever sold. The reactor has extraordinary temperature uniformity and a sophisticated gas delivery system which has been designed for precise precursor delivery. The system also includes our ARGUS in-situ thermal mapping system. An automated handler and multi-wafer loadlock are integrated for high throughput.”
Headquartered in Tsukuba and Tokyo, Japan, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), led by President Nomakuchi, is a public research institution funded mainly by the Japanese government. AIST has over 40 autonomous research units in various innovative research fields, and the units are located at nine research bases and several sites (smaller than research bases) of AIST all over Japan. AIST was ranked in the top 10 Japanese Research Institutions for All Fields 1998-2008 by Thomson Reuters.
GNC is supported by the Funding Program for World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology (FIRST Program) which aims to encourage leading-edge research and development to strengthen Japan’s international competitiveness and contribute to the society and people’s welfare. This program was approved by the Council for Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan in 2009. GNC research and development activities are performed in collaboration with visiting researchers from industrial partner companies.
For further information on AIXTRON, please consult us at
PrintoCent Pilot Factory inauguration presenting new Coatema concept
19th of March 2012
Due to the constant growth in the field of Printed Electronics VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences and Business Oulu founded PrintoCent already in 2009. This is an innovation centre offering business development and pilot production environment to manufacture components, product demonstrations and solutions based on Printed Intelligence technologies. On March 13th, 2012 the Printocent Pilot Factory was inaugurated in Oulu, Finland. This is also the first time that the new production line build by Coatema was presented. This line includes an inline process on two floors, which enables all needed printing, coating and other steps to manufacture large area printed electronic devices. This allows a R2R mass production from lab to fab.
The PrintoCent line with a footprint of 11 x 4 m and a height of nearly 5 m is equipped with 4 interchangeable printing units: gravure printing, reverse gravure printing, rotary screen printing and flexography printing. Additional processes such as hot embossing, plasma treatment, lamination, rotary die cut, hot air drying and UV crosslinking as well as an automatic registration are included. The line is operating with a working width of 300 mm and running with an operation speed of up to 30m/min.
The development of this production line was the cornerstone for the concept behind a new line of pilot line coater called Basecoater 3G. These are specifically designed for the production of large area electronics and the main idea is that there are single units designed in 1.000 mm long sections which are completely enclosed. Because of this modular design a line can be combined aligned to customer needs.
Coatema Wins IDTechEx Award for “Technical Development Manufacturing”
April 5th, 2011 - Düsseldorf, Germany
Coatema Wins IDTechEx Award for “Technical Development Manufacturing”
Christoph Dittrich, Sales Manager
Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH was awarded the IDTechEX Technical Development Manufacturing Award 2011 for its Click&Coat Plant Concept, offering a maximum flexibility and process versatility for sophisticated coating and printing processes in the world of flexible electronics.
The prestigious prize was handed over by Dr. Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx, to Mr. Thomas Kolbusch, Vice President of Coatema, on the occasion of the “Printed Electronics & Photovoltaics Europe 2011” event in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Once more, Coatema has proven that their concept “From Lab to Fab”, which is adaptable to a large number of emerging industries, takes research driven developments to a new level and contributes massively to a rapid scale-up for taking real products to market.
The award-winning Click&Coat concept is based on the idea that each and every process step is considered a single unit, whereas these units can be arranged and rearranged individually, offering a large number of possible combinations and easy enhancement at a later stage. The unparalleled advantage of this concept is a maximum degree of freedom in the arrangement of roll to roll processes.
Besides the Click&Coat pilot machinery concept, the slightly improved Smartcoater - a full miniature coater on an incredible compact footprint, which was launched in early 2010 – was demonstrated. Live trials during the event underlined modularity and flexibility of this hands-on laboratory coating and laminating concept.
The Smartcoater features a 5in1 coating system capable of covering a remarkable coating media viscosity range, making it the perfect tool for slot-die, doctor blade, two-roller and dip-coating processes as well as for gravure printing operations on 150 mm roller width. The built-in drying system in the standard 500 mm version can be adapted in length and drying technology used and many optional add-ons make it even more valuable for ambitious research operations.
for more information, contact us at
AIXTRON Introduces AIX G5+
5x200 mm GaN-on-Si Technology for the AIX G5 Reactor Platform
Aachen, July 24, 2012 – With its latest product, AIX G5+, AIXTRON SE has introduced a 5x200 mm GaN-on-Si (Gallium Nitride on Silicon) technology package for its AIX G5 Planetary Reactor platform. Following a customer-focused development program, this technology was designed and created in AIXTRON’s R&D laboratory and consists of specially designed reactor hardware and process capabilities. It is now available as a part of the AIX G5 product family and any existing G5 system can be upgraded to this latest version. Details of G5+ have already been disclosed to some of AIXTRON’s key customers.
AIX G5+: fully rotationally symmetrical uniformity pattern on all five wafers
“GaN-on-Si technology is a hot topic for MOCVD users and manufacturers today”, states Dr. Rainer Beccard, Vice President Marketing at AIXTRON. “It is the technology of choice for the emerging power electronics market segment, and also a very promising candidate for future high performance and low cost High Brightness LED manufacturing. The wafer size and material plays a crucial role when it comes to cost effective manufacturing processes, and thus the transition to 200 mm Standard Silicon wafers is a logical next step on the manufacturing roadmaps, as it offers unique economies of scale.”
”Being convinced that uniformity and yield are the key success criteria in 200 mm GaN-on-Si processes, AIXTRON conducted a dedicated R&D program”, adds Dr. Frank Wischmeyer, Vice President and Program Manager Power Electronics at AIXTRON. “We started the development process by conducting an extensive simulation program, which enabled us to design fundamentally new hardware components that provide unique process performance in our 5x200 mm processes, while still being compatible with the well-proven AIX G5 reactor platform.” The results are extremely stable processes, providing much better uniformity of material properties and enabling higher device yield than any other MOCVD platform, whilst offering a reactor capacity of 5x200 mm.
Some initial feedback from customers confirms the success of this technological development. Many of them have noted in particular that the fully rotationally symmetrical uniformity pattern on all five 200 mm wafers, the use of standard thickness silicon substrates and the controlled wafer bow behavior is exactly what they require for silicon-style manufacturing. “This uniformity pattern has been an inherent feature of AIXTRON’s Planetary Reactor technology, which we can now successfully obtain on 200 mm GaN-on-Si-wafers”, underlines Dr. Wischmeyer.
The term Planetary Reactor® is a registered trademark.