The FlexTech consortium, set up by the SEMI semiconductor industry association, is working with ITN Energy Systems of Colorado on the 15 month project to produce a 500mAh cell no larger than 50 x 27 mm and just 0.25mm thick (2” x 3” x 0.01”) says Brian Berland, chief science officer at ITN. The ceramic substrate is produced by ENrG of Buffalo, NY, which licenses the technology from Corning.
“This work will break new ground in flexible battery development and address the many challenges associated with this area,” said Melissa Grupen-Shemansky, chief technology officer for FlexTech | SEMI. “This technology is one of the most promising for multi-cell packages and infinitely-expandable battery components.”
This type of battery is widely sought by developers of flexible electronic printed devices, such as wearable and medical devices. This thin film approach to lithium batteries eliminates the liquid electrolytes which are part of the typical lithium-ion product, and has caused difficulties with heat dissipation and reliability of some products on the market. The benefits of placing these batteries on ceramic substrates include low water and oxygen transmission without adding packaging material, cost or thickness. An important part of the project is selecting a sealing material based on compatibility with the assembly process and the ultimate performance of the battery.
“We look forward to working with FlexTech and the FlexTech Technical Council in developing this new approach to flexible power supplies which promises up to 10x the capacity with one-half the thickness of products currently in the market,” said Brian Berland, chief science officer for ITN Energy Systems. “Once completed, we believe that rapid market adoption of this product is highly likely, since power availability and management is a significant bottleneck to many innovative FHE products.”