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IP Profile: Gate Insulator Material for Low Voltage Printed Electronics

We present a transparent, polymer-based gate insulator material for field effect transistors (FETs) that can be easily applied via conventional printing techniques to plastic substrates for low cost, low voltage flexible electronics applications.

Organization: University of Minnesota
Inventors: C. Daniel Frisbie and Timothy Lodge
Primary market: Electronics, Chemicals/Materials, Semiconductors
Technology Contact: E. Hockert, University of Minnesota, Office for Technology Commercialization

IP Overview Courtesy of L. Besemann, University of Minnesota


Schematic and picture of a Field Effect Transistor (FET) where the gate insulator is an ion-gel film

IP description: The printed electronics industry is an emerging and growing industry requiring new materials and processes to enable the roll-to-roll manufacturing of flexible, organic plastic electronics. When the materials and processes are perfected, plastic electronics are expected to be widely adopted for a variety of applications including RFID, electronic signage, lighting and sensors. Our technology enables the development of printed electronics by providing a solution processable, printable gate insulator material.

The material is a transparent, polymer-based ion gel gate insulator that enables Field Effect Transistor (FET) operation at low voltages (<4V), high current at 10 kHz switching frequencies. The material is compatible with multiple printing methods including aerosol jet printing. Manufacturing of FETs that incorporate this gate insulator are simpler and lower cost because the alignment of the gate electrode and insulator thickness is not critical to FET performance. The gate insulator’s low voltage and high current make it compatible with state of the art electronics and applications in bright displays.

Funding: We are looking for licensees and development partners in the chemicals/materials or electronics industry. Companies interested in this technology could include BASF, 3M, Dow Chemical, Degussa, Merck Chemicals or Xerox.

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