University spinout set to revolutionise electronics industry with new product
A Birmingham technology firm is working on a new product that could revolutionise the electronics industry.
University of Birmingham spinout Irresistible Materials (IM), is in the final stages of testing for a novel material used for manufacturing micro-chips with features 4,000 times smaller than a human hair.
The new material will enable electronic device manufacturers to make smaller, lighter products, and pave the way for IM to enter the multi-billion dollar global semiconductor market.
The new material incorporates small molecules, developed at and patented by the University of Birmingham, which are part of a ‘multi-trigger resist’ (MTR) solution.
The MTR is part of a ‘photoresist’ that coats the silicon chip before it is etched, and is activated by exposure to extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light.
Light is used to etch grooves onto the surface of silicon micro-chips, and these grooves define the ‘wires’ on the semi-conductor base. Current manufacturing techniques use light with a much larger wavelength and this has limited the size of the features that can be etched onto a micro-chip.
The electronics industry requires ever smaller and lighter micro-chips and has committed to the introduction of EUV lithography by 2019.
The testing will take place at the University’s Nano-Physics, Chemistry and Engineering Research Laboratory, under the auspices of Dr Alex Robinson, one of the inventors of MTR technology, who is also a founding Director of Irresistible Materials.
Dr Robinson said:
“Staff expertise at the University will be central to this £1m collaborative testing project, which will use state of the art nanoscale testing facilities at the University, as well as partner laboratories in Europe and the US, to investigate the application of extremely novel chemistry to a large scale industrial problem.”
David Ure, founding Director of Irresistible Materials, added:
“We have already demonstrated superior or equivalent performance to leading EUV photoresist products and are extremely excited to enter the last stages of testing.
“Major manufacturers have had EUV lithography on their roadmaps for several years, and there is a now growing urgency for the industry to be ready for mass production involving EUV lithography in 2019.”
These final stages of testing are part funded by a grant from the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK, and part funded by private investment funds raised by Irresistible Materials.
Originally published on The Business Desk.