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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-3.5-2 | Award Amount: 8.47M | Year: 2008

The objective of the project COTECH is to investigate new approaches of -manufacturing based on advanced technology convergence processes and to propose hybrid solutions for high added value cost effective -manufacturing emerging applications. The main goals of COTECH are to develop: (1) -replication technologies underpinned by emerging tool-making technologies for processing multi-material components and creating: a) 3D -components using high throughput multi-material -injection moulding with sub-m resolution; b) 2D -components using direct multi-material hot or UV embossing with a sub-200nm resolution. (2) Radically new replication convergent technologies combining the capabilities of -injection or embossing to a complementary activation step to create intelligent devices in a single process step: a) Hybrid processes based on -injection moulding using modules of e.g coating and compression injection moulding, to provide functionality to -devices, such as active coatings and combination of micro and nano features in a single step; b) Ultimately the hybrid processes based on -injection with embossing will be validated. This will offer a very high throughput multimaterial -injection that will enable the fabrication of 3D high aspect ratio -parts, complemented by an embossing step to allow ultra precise 2D features. (3) Global process chains with increased MTBF (50%) and fabrication of high quality products. This requires innovative non-destructive inspection solutions and simulation models. (4) High added value -devices with advanced functionalities. COTECH proposes to validate industrially the new technology convergence processes with 8 demonstrators representing the most emergent industrial sectors (transport, biomedical, energy). The expected market for the industry exceeds 1 Billion . COTECH will also address the problem of knowledge fragmentation by activating a polymer -manufacturing sub-platform as support to MINAM.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.6 | Award Amount: 4.85M | Year: 2011

The main objective of the IMOLA project is the realization of a large-area OLED-based lighting module with built-in intelligent light management. Interesting applications are wall, ceiling and car dome lighting, where the light intensity can be adjusted uniformly or locally according to the time of the day or the position of a person, or even road lighting, where the light can follow a car.\n\nThe front side of the module consists of OLED tiles attached and interconnected to a flexible backplane foil. In an early stage of the project, individual tiles (on glass as well as on foil) will be used, but in a later stage OLED tiles on the roll will be laminated and interconnected to the backplane.\n\nThe backplane of the module contains the integrated driver electronics for the brightness control of the individual OLED tiles. A very thin and efficient smart-power chip converts a single 40V supply voltage into a controllable DC current for each OLED tile. This power converter chip employs an external passive component (inductor) that will preferably be embedded into the backplane foil. As the smart-power chip also allows the integration of dense CMOS circuitry, extra functionality and intelligence can be implemented on the chip. This includes optical feedback to eliminate non-uniformities between the tiles or to compensate OLED degradation effects. Other sensor functions can provide maximum interaction with the environment. Furthermore, advanced communication features, e.g. by means of PLC techniques across the power supply lines, can enable intelligent brightness control from a central unit.\n\nWithin the consortium, all necessary expertise is available to ensure perfect coverage of all technological aspects (such as OLED and backplane foil development, chip placement, electrical interconnect, component embedding and lamination) as well as all design aspects (driver chip design, inductor design and EMC) in this challenging project.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2007-2.5-2 | Award Amount: 5.04M | Year: 2008

The practice of adding micron sized inorganic filler particles to reinforce polymeric materials can be traced back to the early years of the composite industry. With synthetic methods that can produce nanometer sized fillers, resulting in an enormous increase of surface area, polymers reinforced with nanoscale particles should show vastly improved properties. Yet, experimental evidence suggests that a simple extrapolation of the design paradigms of conventional composites cannot be used to predict the be-havior of nanocomposites. The origin of these differences between conventional and nanocomposites is still unknown. This, unfortunately, precludes yet any rational design.Though some property improvements have been achieved in nanocomposites, nanoparticle dispersion is difficult to control, with both thermodynamic and kinetic processes playing significant roles. It has been demonstrated that dispersed spherical nanoparticles can yield a range of multi-functional behavior, including a viscosity decrease, reduction of thermal deg-radation, increased mechanical damping, enriched electrical and/or magnetic performance and control of thermomechanical properties. Especially the decrease in viscosity is advantageous for injection-molding op-erations. Facile tuning of nanocomposite Tg could thus allow us to control the usable temperature range of these materials. Again, the physics under-pinning this behavior remains unresolved, primarily due to the poor understanding of the effects that particle/matrix interactions have on the composite behavior. This project aims at overcoming these deficiencies by a twofold strategy. This project will bring together a critical mass of scientists, from atomistic to finite-element modeling. The goal is to develop, implement and validate multi-scale methods to compute the mechanical, thermochemical and flow behav-iour of nano-filled polymeric materials based on the chemistry of selected model systems.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: FoF.NMP.2012-7 | Award Amount: 9.55M | Year: 2013

Micro- and nanometer structuring has proven to be an efficient method to functionalize surfaces, and is attractive to manufacturers of plastic products. Plastic components are volume manufactured by injection moulding. Compact Discs and Digital Video Discs are today manufactured with nanometer range lateral resolution but, only on planar surfaces. Free-form (double-curved) moulding tools today offer resolutions down to 100 m, limited by the methods used for creating the injection moulding tools. The objective of the project is to upgrade existing injection moulding production technology for manufacture of plastic components by enhancing the lateral resolution on free-form surfaces down to micro- and nanometer length scales. This will be achieved through the development of a complete nanoimprint lithography solution for structuring the free-form surface of injection moulding tools and tool inserts. This will enable a cost effective and flexible nanoscale manufacturing process that can easily be integrated with conventional mass production lines. The proposed technology enables functionality of plastic surfaces by topography instead of chemistry. This will significantly simplify the introduction of new products to the market, safer to produce and use. The proposed technology allows production of plastic surfaces with several different functionalities using the same material. This simplifies recycling and supports a cradle-to-cradle production philosophy. The proposed technology will be developed to meet specific industry demands from partners representing the plastic industry including the automotive, lighting and toy industries. During the project the European Trade Organisation representing the European plastic industry will disseminate the PLAST4FUTURE technology towards inter-sectoral end-users. An OEM service, provided by participating SMEs and Large Enterprises, will be established to secure a lasting value supporting European competitive strength.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENERGY-2007-2.1-03 | Award Amount: 11.45M | Year: 2008

APOLLON proposal concerns the optimisation and development of Point focus and Mirror Based Spectra Splitting photovoltaic concentrating (CPV) systems (multi-approach). The different technology paths will be followed with due focalisation on the recognised critical issues related to each system component in order to increase CPV efficiency, assure reliability, reduce cost and environmental impact. MJ solar cells will be manufactured by using new materials and deposition technologies allowing reaching and even surpassing the MJ solar cell efficiency target set on the European Strategic Research Agenda on Concentration Photovoltaics. Optimisation of Fresnel and Prismatic lens along with the development of new non-imaging, low F/#, high concentration, cell self-protecting stable optics will allow getting high optical efficiency and wide acceptance angles. New concepts will be applied for Mirror based spectra splitting systems which will allow eliminating the cooling needs. Both the optimised and the new technologies will be properly tested to get reliable a long life time CPV systems. High Integration obtained with microelectronic and automotive light technologies for high throughput module assembly techniques, along with intelligent solutions for accurate, reliable, cost effective tracking and reduced mismatch losses will be addressed. Prototype systems will be developed for a full environmental and economical assessment finally leading to economically-attractive concentrating photovoltaics. In APOLLON all the actors chain, from Universities, SME, Big Enterprise up to the final End-User will bring to present scientific valuable, exploitable and durable products, with results dissemination all around Europe.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 2.93M | Year: 2008

The development of renewable energy is a central aim of the EU Commissions energy policy. Concentration PhotoVoltaics (CPV) has been demonstrated to be a good solution in PV industry and in the last years has become more attractive and several companies have been founded with the main goal of decreasing the cost of PV-generated electricity. The main objective of this project is the optimization of materials and technologies involved in CPV System production to reduce system cost/watt and increase system efficiency. The reduction of system cost/watt, that reflects in reduction of PV-generated electricity, will be achieved by: -developing an all-plastic system by using recycled plastic compounds; -developing Si solar cells for automatic assembling technology; -implementing and industrializing automated high-rate technologies for cell assembly and optics production. The increase of system efficiency will be achieved by: -increasing Si concentration cell efficiency by using surface plasmonic crystal structures; -developing plastic materials doped with down-converting nanoparticles for modification of the solar spectrum to enhance the cell efficiency. The scientific objectives concern optimization of Si solar cell and the development of new application-addressed nanocomposite thermoplastic material. Technological objectives concern the implementation and industrialization of automated low-cost technologies for CPV components fabrications. The scientific and technological objectives of the project will be exploited by the realization of a low CPV system with a projection 2-3 /Watt . The new system, ready to be produced at the end of the project, will be based on Si concentration solar cell technology coupled to hybrid mirror-lens concentrator optical system. The project also includes the design and development of an innovative one-axis tracker integrated with optics for the realization of a compact and modular CPV system for domestic rooftop applications.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.3 | Award Amount: 3.84M | Year: 2010

PRIAM addresses the development of two new product families:\nLight emitting autonomous road signs\nAutonomous car signals and taillights\nThe underling technology consists on the integration on a plastic foil of:\nA solar cell\nA thin film battery\nSolid state light sources\nA sensor of ambient light\nA Radio Frequency RF communication element\nAn energy management processing unit.\nThe developed systems do not need to be connected to an external source of energy, there is no need of expensive cabling or dedicated infrastructures.\nThe new road signs can be easily applied on existing road panels which will then be luminous assuring high visibility in all climate conditions. The average age of car drivers is continuously increasing with associated lower reaction times and lower visual acuity. Benefits are then straightforward in terms of road safety in that a relevant share of car accidents happens at night because of drivers hesitations due to low visibility of road signs. While the car is approaching the road sign, the RF element communicates with the central processor of the car which can inform the driver by either presenting the information on the display or by a voice synthesizer.\nThe new car signals and taillights are very thin and light; they can be easily integrated into the car body and do not need to be connected to the main battery system. The RF element assures the communication with the central computer and the pedal. The system represents a considerable advantage for conventional cars in terms of the overall lower systems complexity and reduction of fuel consume. However the major advantage is foreseen for the development of efficient electrical vehicle requiring low consume auxiliaries for higher range autonomy.\nThe issue of low cost fabrication is addressed by implementing high throughput heterogeneous processes based on the integration of both printing and laminating technologies into roll-to-roll lines. Additionally, the car lighting systems become cheaper thanks to the low cost production, high throughput and processes implementation.\nThe involvement of two renowned research institutions, two large industries and three SMEs, covering all aspects of the supply chain from research to the final installations, guarantees that the project results will be turned into innovative products having a direct large application potential and exploitable into several other products of the emerging flexible and organic electronics sector with a relevant impact on jobs and economy.

Dai Pre M.,University of Padua | Morrow I.,University of Queensland | Martin D.J.,University of Queensland | Mos M.,Centro Ricerche Plast Optica SpA | And 3 more authors.
Materials Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2013

A stable and narrowly distributed dispersion of Mn-doped ZnS nanoparticles with an average diameter of 3 nm, has been synthesized via chemical precipitation without using any surfactant. The surface of the particles has been functionalized with acrylic acid for compatibilization with PMMA. Transparent luminescent nanocomposite powder was obtained using solvent polymerization of ZnS:Mn nanoparticles in a mixture of methyl methacrylate and acrylic acid. Nanocomposites produced by effectively processing this powder into pure PMMA demonstrated "down shifting" performance. The nanocomposite plaques produced were shown to improve the efficiency of a silicon solar cell. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Padovani S.,Centro Ricerche Plast Optica S.p.A. | Del Negro A.,Centro Ricerche Plast Optica S.p.A. | Antonipieri M.,Centro Ricerche Plast Optica S.p.A. | Sinesi S.,Centro Ricerche Plast Optica S.p.A. | And 4 more authors.
Microelectronics Reliability | Year: 2010

Today, the III-V compound semiconductor solar cells represent the most promising photovoltaic technology to achieve the grid parity, thanks to their proven capability to work at high concentration factors (H-CPV: high concentration photovoltaics) with demonstrated conversion efficiencies higher than 40% in the spectral conditions typical of the Earth surface (AM1.5D). One of the issues to be investigated in the H-CPV systems is the reliability of the solar cell receivers. In fact in concentration conditions the thermal and mechanical stress on the solar cell, mounted on receivers, is very significant with respect to flat panel technology. This paper proposes a method, typically used in the LED industry, to test, in accelerated conditions, the H-CPV solar receivers. The receivers, based on III-V solar cells, size 2.1 × 2.1 mm2 from CESI, were built by chip on board technology at CRP labs, and characterized for 800 h to simulate 20 years of in-field operation in concentration regime (500×). © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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