XTPL – ULTRAPRECISE PRINTING OF NANOMATERIALS

The conducting structures depending on the application are manufactured with the following technologies:

  • thin film (paths width 7nm-50 μm, photolithography, vapor deposition, sputtering, etching)
  • thick film (paths width 50-100 μm, screen printing, inkjet printing, stencil printing, etching)

The most common production defects in producing such micro- and nano-structures are:

  • breaking of conductive paths due to local lack of conductive material (opens‚ defects)
  • narrowing of conductive paths (near opens’ defects) occurring when the width or height of the conductive path is less than required. Narrowing of conductive paths can degrade to complete breaking of paths due to further production processes or stress related to exploitation.
The problem is significant because previously mentioned conductive lines are applied to semi-finished products whose production price is a significant part of the cost of the final product. The continuous trend towards miniaturization of electronic devices is exceeding the problem.

POTENTIAL SECTORS

SOLAR CELLS

defects of the conductive lines are the most common production error leading to the rejection of the finished solar cell (58% of rejected solar cells)

TFT / LCD DISPLAYS

sector characterized by a very large number of defects; the share of rejects in production can reach up to 50%; the increase in resolution with simultaneous enlargement of the display dimensions increases the number of conductive lines and the risk of defects high material costs in production ranging from 50% to 70% of total manufacturing costs = pressure to obtain high yields and an effective method of repair

PCBs

current trend in the development of PCBs results in the need for the paths to be more narrow d <20 μm & insulation panels from materials with a low melting point like polytetrafluoroethylene(PTFE), polyamide, benzocyclobutane(BCB) and glass-epoxy (i.e. FR-4), which presents new challenges before defects repair methods

MCM MULTICHIP MODULES

a typical package for multichip modules has over 1000 input/output signals. Unfortunately, the thin-film technology of MCM modules is prone paths being broken.

INTEGRATED CIRCUIT

along with the miniaturization of integrated circuit structures, the editing and repair of metal paths has become more and more complex. Currently, the only developed method of editing contacts with a width of less than 1 μm is focused ion beam (FIB) – not suitable for editing metal paths above 100 μm, characterized
by high electrical resistance of the tracks & causes the destruction of active electronic systems in integrated systems (ESD-electrostaic discharge defects) and other adverse effects hindering or preventing correct repair and analysis of the integrated system

PHOTOLITHOGRAPHIC MASKS

they are a key element in the production of microelectronics, with progressing miniaturization and increase in the complexity of structures, the price of a set of photolithographic masks increases;
the cost of repairing defects, analysis & ensuring the quality of the mask represents 40% of the total cost of the mask, exceeding the cost of manufacturing Defects of the local lack of the metallic layer (transparent defects) are frequent and difficult to repair production
errors.

CURRENT STANDARD

LCVD (Laser Chemical Vapour Deposition), DLD (Direct Laser Deposition), FIB (Focused Ion Beam)

XTPL SOLUTION FOR OPEN DEFECT REPAIR

XTPL developed innovative printing-head and dedicated nanoinks for repairing defects in electrical connections in micrometric & nanometric scale (<1 μm), which together with the optical detection systems already used on the market will provide a comprehensive technological solution to be implemented on production lines, among others, for the production of solar cells, LCD/OLED displays, PCBs, MCM multichip modules & integrated circuits. XTPL’s solution allows to repair the interrupted thin conductive lines already in production stage, without complicated, slow and expensive vacuum processes.

REMOVING LOCAL DEFECTS IN METALIC LINKS WITH XTPL TECHNOLOGY

There is a demand for a new technology for repairing damaged conductive structures

XTPL’s technology will eliminate all the disadvantages of current methods

COMPARISON OF METHODS

Parameter FIB LCVD XTPL*
(initial lab results)
Impact on
Minimal feature size [um] < 0.05 > 5 0.2 – 10 flexibility of process
Deposition rate [um3/s] 0.05 10 50 throughput
Maximal line length < 100 um mm range cm range flexibility of process
Vacuum chamber required yes yes no process cost and throughput
Toxic/dangerous gases/media required no yes no process cost and throughput
Surface damage yes yes no flexibility of process
Price $$$high $$meduim $low process cost

XTPL’S VALUE PROPOSITION FOR OPEN DEFECTS REPAIR

FOR MORE INFORMATION DOWNLOAD

Brochure – XTPL – Revolutionary technology for open defect repair
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Teaser – XTPL – Revolutionary technology for open defect repair
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PRINTING HEAD

The heart of the XTPL technology is designed by company’s specialists innovative printing head. It operates on the basis of a unique algorithm & enables ultraprecise application of the ink with nanoparticles and formation of conductive lines. This revolutionary construction is subject to modifications that allow for dedicated application and optimization for a given application field. Basing on the customers’ requirements the company is providing versions adapted to obtain outstanding results.

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NANOINKS

Nanoinks manufactured by XTPL exhibit unique physicochemical properties that allow obtaining desired parameters of conductive lines. The majority of our inks are based on silver nanoparticles, we also use other nanomaterials and thanks to that we respond flexibly to the needs of our clients. The composition of XTPL’s nanoinks is each time precisely adjusted to specific requirements.
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PRINTING PROCESS

Nanoprinting system designed by XTPL makes it possible to precisely apply to the surface a special ink formulated for this purpose in the company’s laboratories. Under the influence of an external electric field, the nanoparticles in the ink create conductive lines according to the specified parameters. As such, the thickness of the individual lines (even below 100 nm), their length and the distance between them all vary depending on a specific application.
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XTPL LINES

XTPL comprehensive solution for ultraprecise printing of nanomaterials allows for obtaining electrically conductive, optically, biologically and chemically active lines – width range: from below 100 nm to 15 μm. The feature size of printed structures is one of the key parameters in XTPL technology. What makes the XTPL technology unique is the possibility to create lines with a width-to-height aspect ratio close to 1 in a single pass of the printing head.
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