Developing organic electronics
Arkema's research into organic electronics, conducted jointly with the CEA laboratories, strives to develop the materials of the future. By producing nanostructured solutions, the Group engages in technology of the future, which is more lightweight and more sustainable.
The use of organic materials, rather than silicon, may give rise to a new field of printable, transparent and flexible electronic components. These materials should lead to the emergence of new applications such as flexible screens, smart packaging and clothes, flexible and semi-transparent photovoltaic panels.
In the field of "large-area printed electronics", innovation is focused on performance levels and the lifetime of the systems, production costs and the integration of several functions in the same item.
Recognition for the CEA-Liten/Piezotech partnership
In March 2015, CEA-Liten and Piezotech were delighted to be awarded the "Best Freestyle Demonstrator" prize for their "Piezoelectric Transparent Loudspeaker".
The award, presented at the LOPEC (Large-area, Organic and Printed Electronics) international conference, highlights the latest advances in organic and printed electronics. The "Piezoelectric Transparent Loudspeaker" comprises electroactive fluorinated polymers.
They have the ability to deform under electrical voltage and convert mechanical force into electrical energy. As a result, this loudspeaker is slender, lightweight and flexible.
Producing flexible materials thanks to electro-active fluorinated copolymers
Thanks to the recent acquisition of a company called Piezotech, Arkema has expanded its range of high-performance materials made with electroactive block coplymers.
These piezo or ferroelectric polymers (available in powder or film) have the ability to change shape when they are subjected to electrical voltage or, conversely, to convert a mechanical force into electrical energy.
Initially, the aim is to develop piezoelectric inks. These conductive polymer inks are printable on flexible materials such as tags. These smart tags are equipped with sensors and are able to provide useful information about a product or its storage conditions. Household objects, such as packaging, may soon be equipped with sensors (e.g. temperature, shock, humidity) and communication tools.
Partnerships to develop tomorrow's applications in microelectronics
In 2012, Arkema established a partnership with CEA (Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission) to create:
- A public-private laboratory dedicated to large-area printed electronics (with the Laboratoire d’Innovation pour les Technologies des Énergies Nouvelles et les nanomatériaux – LITEN – part of CEA),
- A collaborative research platform dedicated to the development of lithography based on nanostructured polymers (with the Laboratoire d'électronique et de technologie de l'information – LETI – part of CEA).
Meanwhile, the Group began a collaboration in Bordeaux (France) with:
- An organic polymer chemistry lab (LCPO) on electronic materials,
- Professor Georges Hadziioanou, head of the Excellence Chair, on advanced materials for information and communication technologies and energy.