December 7, 2009-- Tokyo-based synthetic fiber and plastics maker Teijin Limited says it has developed the world's first silicon-on-plastic integration technology for applications in photovoltaics and liquid crystal displays. Teijin developed this technology in conjunction with NanoGram Corporation (Milipas, CA), which previously developed a laser pyrolysis-based nanoparticle manufacturing process for high volume production of crystalline silicon nanoparticles.
Silicon-based devices are typically made using a glass or a silicon substrate, but the ability to replace such rigid substrates with thinner, lighter and flexible plastic substrates is currently the focus of much research. The low heat stability of general-purpose plastic substrates has hampered their use with silicon because they cannot withstand the conventional silicon sintering process, with temperatures as high as 500-600ºC. The challenge has been development of a low-temperature silicon sintering process of below 200ºC.
The new technology has promising applications in next-generation electronics, including solar (photovoltaics) cells and thin-film transistors for liquid crystal displays (LCD TFT). It is expected to help reduce the weight and cost of these products, perhaps by as much as 50%, and the enhanced flexibility could open up many new applications.
Teijin and NanoGram entered into Phase 1 of a technology development agreement in February 2009 to develop silicon-on-plastic integration technology. The companies are now in Phase II of the agreement aimed at establishing silicon-on-plastic integration technology comparable to that of amorphous silicon or organic semiconductors. Efforts will focus on areas such as the development of solar cells and LCD TFTs (liquid crystal display thin film transistors). Teijin says the markets for these products will expand to as much as $11 billion by around 2018.
For more information visit www.teijin.co.jp