Roll-to-Roll Printing of Patterned Nanomembranes on Flexible Substrates

Period of Performance: 07/08/2013 - 08/15/2014

$390K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

systeMech
2401 Crest Line Dr. Array
Madison, WI 53704
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Wisconsin, Madison
2100 Main Street
Madison, WI 53706
Institution POC

Abstract

Flexible electronic and optical devices, including sensors/detectors, waveguides, and photonic crystal structures, have significant promise for improving communication and information processing capabilities in a number of military and commercial applications. However, the development of such flexible devices has been hindered by the lack of effective manufacturing processes for producing these devices on flexible substrates with small feature sizes over large areas. In our Phase I STTR project, we developed and demonstrated the feasibility of a novel rolling-based manufacturing process for directly transferring large-area arrays of inorganic patterned nanomembrane (NM) structures onto flexible substrates. Our approach realizes the fabrication of nanostructured devices on flexible substrates by combining established lithography techniques (optical and/or nanoimprint) with our rolling based direct-transfer process. During Phase I, arrays of silicon nanomembranes (SiNMs) were patterned on rigid wafers and then transferred from the rigid substrates to flexible polyethylene terephthalate substrates with high yield and excellent placement fidelity. In Phase II, we will develop and optimize a prototype transfer tool that advances the capability of our rolling-based transfer process and enables the transfer of large-area arrays of NM components that have sub-optical-wavelength dimensions. We will demonstrate the transfer of arrays components patterned via nanoimprint lithography over large areas on flexible substrates and will also use the process and prototype tool to fabricate photonic devices on flexible substrate. The prototype tool will serve as a basis for a system that can be commercialized in order to allow industrial, academic, and military customers to manufacture a range of NM-based flexible electronic and photonic devices.