2013 Pulse thermal processing Southeast

Award Year 

Pulse Thermal Processing (PTP) is a revolutionary technology for thermally processing thin film structures, allowing high-temperature processing on low-cost and temperature-sensitive substrates such as plastics. PTP technology offers the ability to expose large areas of material to an extremely high energy flux during a very short period of time. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) patented the PTP technology in May 2007.NovaCentrix obtained an exclusive license for the PTP technology in August 2008. Based in Austin, Texas, (more) the company is a leader in printed electronics manufacturing technologies. NovaCentrix has utilized the PTP technology to sinter metallic nanoparticle inks on temperature-sensitive substrates such as paper and plastics—increasing the conductivity of printed circuits by orders of magnitude. NovaCentrix introduced the PTP technology as a commercial line of photonic curing equipment known as PulseForge systems. The most advanced model is the PulseForge 3300, which is designed for roll-to-roll and conveyor-based material processing at full-volume production. The PulseForge 3300 can process materials used for printed logic, display, and photovoltaic applications, such as silicon, zinc oxide, and copper indium gallium diselenide. In addition to licensing the PTP technology, NovaCentrix has collaborated with ORNL in a number of areas. NovaCentrix placed a PulseForge 3300 at ORNL at a significant cost-share, leveraging ORNL’s extensive materials processing and characterization capabilities. The company has also actively engaged in numerous research projects with ORNL, exploring various applications for the PTP technology. NovaCentrix has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ORNL, committing to pursue advancement of the PTP technology. ORNL and NovaCentrix were jointly awarded an R&D 100 Award in 2009 for “PulseForge 3100 With Pulse Thermal Processing.” (less)