1290 — Epson Establishes New Research Laboratory in Cambridge, UK

Dec 3, 2002 | Conteúdos Em Português

Cambridge, UK, 26 November 2002 – Seiko Epson Corporation announces the commencement of research at its new Cambridge Inkjet Open Laboratory in the UK since October 2002, as part of the Cambridge Research Laboratory of Epson that first opened in 1998. The new facilities are the result of a £2 million investment and have been set up to explore new industrial applications for inkjet technology in the research areas of thin film transistor technology and organic electronic devices.

Established as a European research and development base by Seiko Epson Corporation, the new laboratory works in tandem with the first ‘Inkjet Open Laboratory’ established in Suwa Minami, Japan in July 2002. The Suwa Minami laboratory tests applications for the technologies and verifies potential for production.

Epson is well known throughout the world for its high-quality photo printers that use its own original inkjet technology. The company has spent many years developing revolutionary micro liquid processes that form the base of its inkjet technology. With a similar process, Epson’s precise Piezo inkjet head can eject small droplets of functional material such as polymer semi-conductors, light-emitting polymers, liquid metal or liquid ceramics to form precise patterns on any surface, mainly plastics. The droplets of functional material patterns measured in picolitres (1,000 billionth of a litre) and nanograms (1,000 millionth of a gram) draw patterns directly and make films of uniform thickness. In particular, Epson believes that inkjet technology could be used to greatly reduce the large number of photolithographic processes used in the manufacture of semiconductors and consequently reduce raw materials by 90%, thus diminishing the environmental burden.

The potential for inkjet methods in production technology has come under increasing focus in recent years. However, it is still a relatively new field and further research is required to develop industrial applications. Epson believes that micro liquid processes offer many opportunities as an energy and resource saving production technology. Following on from the Suwa Minami Inkjet Open Laboratory, the new Cambridge Inkjet Open Laboratory has been established with the aim of working with laboratory users to develop products with industrial potential and expand into new business fields.

Epson Cambridge Research Laboratory Senior Manager, Satoshi Nebashi said, “One of Epson’s goals is to develop the next-generation portable equipment by making products smaller and lighter with even better performance and features. The ‘Cambridge Inkjet Open Laboratory’ is seeking to develop new industries that will improve the quality of life for all of us, through the development of time-saving, innovative products that will drastically reduce energy and material consumption. Our ultimate goal is to make the concept of the

About Seiko Epson
Seiko Epson is a progressive company that increases its corporate value through its innovative and creative culture. The company’s main product lines comprise information-related equipment such as printers and projectors, electronic devices including semiconductors, LCDs and crystal devices, and precision products, especially watches. Seiko Epson is a global leader in high-quality technology products that meet customer demands for increased functionality, compactness and energy efficiency with consolidated sales in fiscal 2001 of 1,274 billion yen (11,564 million euro) and a global workforce of 68,786 employees.

About the Epson Cambridge Laboratory
The Cambridge Research Laboratory was established in 1998 by the Seiko Epson Corporation of Japan. The laboratory manager is Satoshi Nebashi and there are three consultant directors: Professor Piero Migliorato of the Engineering Department Cambridge University, Professor Richard Friend of Cavendish Laboratory Cambridge University and Dr. Tatsuya Shimoda, director of the Technology Platform Research Center of Seiko Epson Corporation. Employing thirteen staff, the laboratory researches new electronic devices and electronic device processing techniques in collaboration with the Engineering Department and Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. The laboratory aims to develop displays, integrated circuits and computer memory based on completely new principles and to promote innovation in electronic device production technology by creating devices on plastic substrates. Significant progress has been made after four years of activity, with notable achievements relating to polysilicon thin film transistor circuits and polymer transistors created using inkjet techniques.