OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH, one of the world’s biggest lighting equipment manufacturers, recently signed an agreement with Polish additive company XTPL S.A. Through the partnership, the companies will evaluate and validate parameters of XTPL’s 3D printing technology with the goal of implementing it into OSRAM’s production workflow. Specifically, OSRAM will explore using XTPL’s AM technology for the production of conductive interconnections for semiconductors in lighting devices.
XTPL has developed a unique additive manufacturing process called Ultraprecise Deposition. The process relies on a deposition head which deposits ink onto a substrate with a resolution below 1 um. The process, which can print onto flexible or non-flat substrates, is also compatible with a broad range of inks, including conductive and insulating inks, nanoparticle-based suspension, semiconductor-based suspensions, biological materials and solvent-based inks.
This capability caught the eye of Germany-based OSRAM, which has been seeking ways to advance its lighting production. OSRAM is one of the largest manufacturers of lighting equipment in the world (along with GE Lighting and Philips). The company is also known for developing and producing optoelectronic materials. Part of OSRAM’s mandate is to continue to innovate in the lighting segment, and it dedicates a significant portion of its revenue to R&D (in 2019, for instance, 11% of its EUR 3.5 billion revenue went to R&D).
As part of its R&D, OSRAM was seeking a solution which resembled an additive technique being developed by XTPL that is designed to repair open defects in displays for the smart glass industry. By aligning at this stage, the companies can move directly into the proof-of-concept stage for the technology.
The partnership is expected to help OSRAM increase its use of light-emitting semiconductor materials, which are today used in LED and OLED lighting and work by converting electrical energy into light. For XTPL, the rapid growth of the LED lighting market makes the partnership especially exciting, as it could open up a significant new application area for its additive technology.