Thanks to the French National program “Investissement d’Avenir”, the team leader, Georges Hadziioannou, of team 4 of LCPO instigated, managed the construction and he is coordinating the comprehensive platform for the flexible and printed organic electronics, the EquipEx ELORPrintTec (https://elorprinttec.u-bordeaux.fr/en/) funded by ANR 2010 EQPX-28-01 – EquipEx (2011-2022). Ιt is important to clarify here that although the EquipEx ELORPRintTec was instigated, managed the construction and is directed by a member of the LCPO unit, namely Prof. Georges Hadziioannou, its mission is to serve the entire local, national and international academic and industrial research and development communities. It is sufficient to say here that in the construction phase the community of researchers from five local CNRS units (ICMCB, IMS, CRPP, ISM and LCPO) have participated where the team members of team 4 of LCPO had a leading role.
After almost 2 years of administrative procedures and one more year of intense conception and design work for the clean room to be housed inside an old building B8 of the campus of Bordeaux University, the construction work started in 02/2014 and finished in 05/2015. The installation of the equipment started progressively from the fall of 2015 and finished in 04/2016. The ELORPrintTec opened officially its exploitation phase on the 1st of 09/2016 after nine-month testing period with a representative set of users.
The “Bordeaux University Facility for the Printed Organic Electronics: from Molecules to Devices and System Architectures as well as their Commercialization” (ELORPrintTec) provides the capability to explore interdisciplinary science and technology across the breadth of chemical, physical, life sciences and engineering wherein materials science combined with nanotechnology is the center of gravity. The aim of this facility is to address the understanding, conception, innovation and integration of new materials to devices and systems in the disruptive technology of large area printable flexible organic electronics and nanosystems. It includes the full fledge of the state-of-the-art instrumentation for advanced top-down and bottom-up processing methodologies, synthesis, formulation robots, and an integrated ultra-high vacuum facility for the deposition and characterization of thin film materials. Functional and structural characterization tools have been acquired, as well as a full set of physical, chemical and electrical characterization tools for all length and time scales and a set of printing sheet to sheet pilot lines (screen printing, slot die, flexography, heliography and inkjet printing). The entire instruments infrastructure is housed in a state of the art 850 m² ISO6 clean room facility with 150 m² open office space.
The ELORPrintTec facility was essential, so far, in the execution of the team 4 projects in producing materials, their formulation, processing and characterization in an ultra-clean and controlled environment as is due for the modern electronics industry. Moreover, its unique infrastructure with the associated competences and human capacity attracted already several start-ups and industrial groups either to house their Research and Development or to explore new materials, devices and systems in the emerging areas of organic electronics and the nanoscience/nanotechnology. Moreover, the ELORPrintTec facility played an important role in the execution of the Industrial Chair ARKEMA/ANR HOMERIC “Hierarchical assembled Organic Materials for ElectRonICs”. The HOMERIC Industrial Chair was the test beds for the construction and fine tuning of the infrastructure.
The activity we had the last 4 years shows that the Facility is adopted from the private sector with much confidence. This testifies that it offers the competences, infrastructure and an adequate economical operation model which are attractive for companies that are endeavouring to emerge in the field of printed organic electronics. We have built a facility, which is a unique one stop shop for all the existing or to come industrial and academic sectors on organic electronics and nanoscience/nanotechnology.