Flexible Li-ions Built on Flexible Ceramic Substrates

January 31, 2017 by Jeff Shepard

FlexTech, a SEMI strategic association partner, today announced a contract with ITN Energy Systems of Littleton, CO to develop and produce a flexible, solid-state lithium battery reducing packaging bulk by integrating a thin, flexible ceramic substrate. The unique ceramic substrate material is produced by ENrG Inc. of Buffalo, NY and is technology licensed from Corning Incorporated. The project duration is 15 months with a total value of $1.5 million.

“This work will break new ground in flexible battery development and address the many challenges associated with this area,” notes 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.”

“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.”

This type of battery is widely sought by developers of flexible electronic printed devices, such as wearable and medical devices. Product goals include a size of no larger than 2”x 3” x .01” and up to a 500 mAh capacity. 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.