AIXTRON SE (FSE: AIXA; NASDAQ: AIXG), a worldwide leading provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, is working together with five partners in the “HEA2D” project to investigate the production, qualities, and applications of 2D nanomaterials.
When integrated into mass production processes, 2D materials have the potential to create integrated and systematic product and production solutions that are sustainable in social, economic, and ecological terms. Using 2D materials will help to address topics such as climate change, an environmentally-friendly and affordable energy supply or mobility, addressing the increasing scarcity of resources. These materials also enable new and innovative solutions to be explored. Even though the potential harbored by this new class of materials has been demonstrated for increasing numbers of applications and with ever greater dynamism in a laboratory environment, attempts at high-volume product manufacturing functionalized with 2D materials have so far failed due to the fragmented production chain. In view of this, material-based innovations with 2D materials have not yet led to any major product innovations in practice.
The joint project HEA2D is now researching an end-to-end processing chain consisting of various deposition processes for 2D materials, processes for transfer onto plastic foils, and mass integration into plastics components. AIXTRON’s partners for implementing systems technology and integrating materials into plastic molded parts are the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT), Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH (Coatema), and Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid (K.I.M.W.). This work is being supported in terms of nano-analytics and the development of prototype components by the Institutes of “Electronic Materials and Nanostructures” (University of Duisburg-Essen) and “Graphene-based Nanotechnology” (University of Siegen).
Drawing on co-operations already in place at the project partners, the project results will be communicated to interested companies worldwide. The aim here is to integrate suggestions from end users into the production chain at an early stage of development already. To this end, the project will also use the platform operated by the “Graphene and 2D Materials” specialist group and the North Rhine Westphalia plastics cluster “Kunststoffland NRW”.
One focus of AIXTRON’s subproject involves researching (MO)-CVD processes and systems technology for the deposition of optically active 2D semiconductor materials such as molybdenum tungsten (Mo, W), selenium sulfur (Se, S), and graphene. Furthermore, together with its project partners the company will be working out a roll-to-roll concept for use in the synthesis and transfer of graphene. To ensure the efficient realization of a demonstration tool which is a core aspect of the HEA2D innovations, preliminary investigations will be performed, particularly to identify suitable source chemicals, on an existing system at AIXTRON’s applications laboratory. Based on the findings, the existing system technology will be enhanced. Together with its project partners, demonstrators on the basis of 2D semiconductor materials will be manufactured.
“HEA2D” is being promoted with funds from the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE) 2014-2020.