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Award to enhance flexible electronics research

Binghamton University’s Integrated Electronics Engineering Center (IEEC) has been awarded $1.7 million from the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) to help speed microelectronics manufacturing research and development in a roll-to-roll (R2R) format.

The award is being made through NYSTAR’S CAT Development program, an initiative that funds nationally recognized New York State research centers to bring high-technology innovations to the marketplace. Since 1991, the IEEC at Binghamton University, a New York Center for Advanced Technology (CAT), has performed leading edge research in electronics packaging, transferring results to the New York State and national packaging industries. The IEEC’s history of partnering with leading firms across the Southern Tier and New York State, including Lockheed Martin, IBM, BAE Systems and GE, provides a solid foundation for continued long-term growth of the State’s high-tech economy.

The NYSTAR funding will enable the IEEC to develop a new crucial and focused technology area in systems integration and packaging. This area is key from an economic development standpoint, since system integration and packaging are at the heart of job and revenue creation. This thrust will enhance the resources and capabilities of the IEEC and enable the commercialization of new flexible electronic applications.

Binghamton University has become a leader in the field of flexible electronics through its Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM), which was established in 2005. Drawing the IEEC and CAMM together in a unique partnership, the funding will build upon their combined strengths and launch the University to the next stage of high technology development, resulting in a R2R prototype manufacturing line that will enable and validate the design of flexible electronic manufacturing capabilities.

The partnership is also expected to develop essential process technologies and manufacturing know-how, and demonstrate specific technologies and products through test bed projects and low volume device manufacturing that will benefit New York State and national electronic industries.

Currently, most advanced electronics components are produced on silicon or quartz wafers, or on plates of specialized glass in a “batch” process that has been the backbone of the integrated circuit (IC) and flat panel display (FPD) industries. The R2R is a continuous web process that produces components at higher yields and lower costs than current production methods. Components are flexible, rugged and adaptable to medical, security, computer and telecommunications applications.

Russell W. Bessette, M.D., executive director of NYSTAR, said, “Through his long-standing, steadfast support of high-technology programs such as the partnership between IEEC and CAMM, Governor Pataki will enable Binghamton University to build and strengthen its research and development capabilities, and to help ensure that Binghamton continues to play an important role in developing new innovations that will lead to the creation of new jobs here in New York State. NYSTAR congratulates Binghamton on its success in winning this very important award.”

The IEEC is directed by Bahgat Sammakia, professor of mechanical engineering at Binghamton University. “This initiative holds extraordinary promise for New York State and the nation and will aid in moving university-developed R2R processes and technologies to the marketplace,” he said. “The CAMM will be fully integrated into the IEEC’s mission and will directly enable the IEEC to enhance its ability to serve New York State industry and create tremendous economic development and commercialization opportunities for the State.”
Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur said: “This award from NYSTAR further extends the critical partnership between the University, New York State and private industry. It is an exciting investment in the University and is the next step in the creation of a commercialization and high technology sector in our community. Working together we can make a difference in the Southern Tier and New York State.”

Senator Thomas W. Libous (R-C: Binghamton) said: “This NYSTAR award is another confirmation of Binghamton University’s place at the forefront of microelectronics research and development. We’re excited about the opportunity for more partnerships between the University and private sector to stay at the cutting edge of new technology and to create new jobs.”

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