Heraeus Printed Electronics and SUSS MicroTec are working to pave the way for digital inkjet printing of metallic coatings in semiconductor manufacturing.

HANAU and GARCHING, Germany—A joint development agreement (JDA) between  Heraeus Printed Electronics GmbH and SUSS MicroTec is expected to pave the way for digital inkjet printing of metallic coatings for semiconductor manufacturing.

The partnership, cemented with the signing of the joint agreement in March, combines the core competences of both companies to enable “digital printing solutions for mass production in the electronics industry for the first time,” the companies said in a release.

Heraeus Printed Electronics provides a turnkey system that integrates advanced particle-free metal inks with precision inkjet printing equipment to enable digital inkjet printing on electronic components. The company said it offers metallic inks and deep process knowledge along with its printing systems. Its Prexonics® technology reportedly enables selective printing on different substrates for a wide range of applications, such as shielding against electromagnetic interference (EMI), printing of conductive structures, and metallization for heat dissipation.

“This collaboration represents the missing piece in the mosaic of scaling to mass production for us, having recently passed the important milestone of fulfilling the broad functional requirements of the semiconductor industry with our ground-breaking technology,” said Franz Vollmann, head of Heraeus Printed Electronics, in a statement. “By combining our core expertise in metallic specialty inks and digital printing processes with the scaling competence of our strong partner SUSS MicroTec, we are setting a new industry standard for mass production in the semiconductor market.”

SUSS MicroTec, a provider of advanced equipment and processing products for semiconductor manufacturing, brings its leading-edge automation platform and industrial inkjet production capabilities to the partnership.

The company’s JETx high-volume production equipment is designed to integrate various printhead and substrate technologies and is reported to expand the application potential of Heraeus’ digital printing technology. SUSS MicroTec said its high production capacity, along with the company’s global sales and service network, support the smooth transfer of the equipment into high-volume manufacturing.

“The integration of Heraeus’s breakthrough ink technology and digital printing capabilities with our robust automation platforms is a testimonial to our pursuit of excellence and innovation,” said SUSS MicroTec Senior Vice President, Advanced Backend Solutions Robert Wanninger, Ph.D., in the release. “We are confident that our combined efforts will result in unprecedented production efficiencies and costs in line with current and future market expectations.”

According to the release, the collaboration calls for the development of equipment that integrates Heraeus’s digital printing technology, image processing software, and advanced ink technology into SUSS MicroTec’s automation and JETx platform. The goal of the collaboration is described as “a state-of-the-art system with a competitive total cost of ownership (TCO) that not only sets new standards in the industry, but also aligns with Heraeus and SUSS MicroTec’s vision of cost and performance optimization.”