June 6, 2017 - Ube Industries, Ltd. (President: Yuzuru Yamamoto) and Yamagata University today announced that their n-type organic semiconductor material for printed organic integrated circuits has received a Semiconductor of the Year 2017 Grand Prix Award in the category of electronic materials for semiconductors. The n-type organic semiconductor material for printed organic integrated circuits was co-developed by Ube Industries and a research group led by Dr. Shizuo Tokito, Distinguished Research Professor at the Research Center for Organic Electronics, Yamagata University. Dr. Tokito will give a presentation at the award ceremony to be held at the Japan Electronics Packaging and Circuits Association (JPCA) Show 2017 at Tokyo Big Sight, starting at 2:00 p.m. on June 7, 2017.
The Semiconductor of the Year awards are sponsored by trade publication Electric Device Industry News published by Sangyo Times, Inc. The annual awards were created in 1994 for the purpose of contributing to technological progress and market growth through the recognition of semiconductor products and technologies that support cutting edge industry. Reporters vote on products and technologies that have been released over the past year, covering criteria such as innovation, readiness for mass production, social impact, and future potential.
The n-type organic semiconductor material co-developed by Ube Industries and Yamagata University was awarded for its innovation in realizing properties that are on the same level as p-type organic semiconductor material. Further consideration was given to its readiness for commercial release and future potential for the promising growth market of printable electronics. The n-type organic semiconductor material was chosen for the Grand Prix Award from among 31 products and technologies that were nominated in the category.
The award-winning n-type organic semiconductor material for printed organic integrated circuits is the result of joint research initiated in 2011 by a research group led by Dr. Tokito of Yamagata University and Ube Industries. The parties have already filed for related patents for the technology.
P-type and n-type semiconductors can be combined to make low-power complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) circuits, and these two types of semiconductors are used in ICs. While there have been countless reports of p-type organic semiconductors with practical mobility*1 that are organic-solvent soluble for use in printing processes, there have been almost no reports of high-performance n-type organic semiconductors used in the same application. This is because n-type organic semiconductors are chemically susceptible to atmospheric water and oxygen, making it difficult to maintain their advanced performance over the long term.
By comparison, the n-type organic semiconductor material co-developed by Ube Industries and Yamagata University delivers transistor performance equal to that of existing p-type organic semiconductor materials, which will contribute significantly to further increasing the performance of printable CMOS circuits. CMOS circuits are integral to reducing the power consumption and size of devices. Furthermore, high-level integration of CMOS circuits enables the manufacturing of sensors and other electronic devices whose promise is being highlighted for Internet of things (IoT) and wearable sensing, including devices such as RFID tags and displays.
Mobility indicates the level of ease with which charge moves though a semiconductor. The higher the value, the greater the flow of high current and the faster the signal-switching performance will be. With LCDs, for example, using a semiconductor with high mobility enables the representation of smooth movement on the screen.
The research group led by Dr. Tokito of Yamagata University, is currently prototyping organic ICs using the n-type organic semiconductor material and validating their performance, and studying manufacturing processes for organic devices. The group has already succeeded in prototyping and validating the performance of a number of ICs including CMOS circuits, presenting the results at academic conferences and in papers. Furthermore, the research group is validating and studying electronic devices such as sensors, RFID tags, and displays that use these technologies. In order to encourage market development for these organic devices, Ube Industries has reached a licensing agreement with Future Ink Corporation (President: Dr. Shizuo Tokito), a start-up launched from Yamagata University. Future Ink began marketing the n-type organic semiconductor material in April 2017. These marketing efforts will further accelerate the practical application of the n-type organic semiconductor material, by encouraging a broader spectrum of users to consider developing organic devices.
Note: These results were also made possible by support from the Establishment of International Center for Advanced Organic Electronics Research, a part of the Japan Regional Innovation Strategy Program by the Excellence (J-RISE), Japan Science and Technology Agency.
Future Ink Corporation was established in April 2016 as a venture firm to develop business for printed electronics technologies.
Future Ink Corporation website:http://www.futureink.co.jp/en/
I am extremely grateful to be receiving this distinguished award. The award is the result of many years of industry-academic collaborative research with Ube Industries, and I would like to reiterate my gratitude to all those who were involved. We will use this award to motivate us as we move forward in working to further increase the performance of printed organic electronic circuits that use these semiconductors, and use them in various types of sensors.
It is truly an honor to receive this award. The n-type organic semiconductor material expands the possibilities for electronic devices by enabling the printing of devices, and we expect that it will provide new solutions for social needs such as IoT and wearables. Ube Industries will continue to anticipate the needs of customers and society, in working to create innovative value for the next generation.
Yamagata University and Ube Industries Announce World's First Practical-level N-type Organic Semiconductor That Can Be Used in Printed Integrated Circuits Major contribution toward practical application of lightweight, disposable organic circuits