The basis of the PolyIC technology are electrically conducting, semi-conducting and other kind of electronic materials that can be applied by printing processes. The materials can be organic or polymer based; this is the reason why this technology often is called “Organic Electronics” or “Polymer Electronics”. PolyIC does not limit their materials on organic or polymer based substances, that is why we chose the wording "Printed Electronics".
Due to the processing on printing machines, the production of large rolls is possible. As a result of the low price and flexibility of printed electronics in contrast to classical electronics, printed electronics can be used for many new flexible electronics products.
PolyIC is using continuous printing methods that allow to produce low-cost electronics in high-volume. These methods are essentially based on well-known printing methods such as:
- Flexoprinting: a high pressure method that is especially well applicable to print on plastic substrates
- Offset printing: a flat printing technique that makes a high resolution possible
- Gravure printing: a low pressure printing method that enables high volumes and the use of organic dissolvent
- Screen printing: a method that allows to print in thick layers
- Coating methods: diverse methods to apply homogeneous and thin layers
- Other processing methodes that are compatible with roll-to-roll production on plastic substrates
Of course, these methods have to be adapted to the special requirements of Printed Electronics such as very high resolution, high cleanliness as well as precision of register. Furthermore, instead of the conventional printing inks, the custom-made printing formulations are used that can only be adapted to the methods up to a certain point while ensuring a good printing result as well as electrical functionality.
Besides the large scale roll-to-roll production, which is mainly done by PolyIC´s parent company KURZ, PolyIC also uses laboratory processes to enable fast development and prototyping. In these processes electronics are fabricated in clean room conditions and with the respective processes. By applying these established processes, Printed Electronics are developed up to the point where the understanding of the functionality of the devices and their interaction in a product is well advanced. This is necessary to apply the results in high-volume printing processes. In this, combinations of different processes are being evaluated to pick the best.
Further information regarding printed electronics can be found here: www.oe-a.org.