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$4.1m for transistor printing start-up

US start-up Semprius gains early-stage backing to develop its novel transfer printing approach to chip manufacturing.

Semprius, a start-up with a new take on device processing, has gained $4.1 million in its first round of venture funding since spinning out of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The $4.1 million Series A financing was led by Arch Venture Partners and Intersouth Partners and joined by the original seed funders Illinois Ventures.

Working from its Durham, NC, facility, the company aims to integrate varied materials, such as compound semiconductors and silicon, to give the best combination of properties and costs.

“Our technology is centered on a printing technique for transferring sub-millimeter sized, sub-micron-thick “chiplets” "“ individual compound semiconductor transistors or small circuits "“ from one substrate to another,” the team writes in the forthcoming issue of Compound Semiconductor.

“Using elastomeric stamps, arrays of chiplets can be transferred without damage between donor and acceptor substrates in a single process.”

The idea comes from the research group of John Rogers, at the University of Illinois, who has licensed the technology to Semprius.

Rogers' group published their research in Science (see related article) recently.

They produced a circuit on polyimide polymer, on top of which were layered GaN HEMTs, nanotube-based thin-film transistors and silicon MOSFETs, sequentially.

Although Semprius is not intending to become an equipment maker, Kyle Benkendorfer, the company's senior business development director, said it had developed a printing tool which demonstrates the concept's viability.

“Partnering with companies that are expert in certain target markets, Semprius expects to commercialize its work in the next few years,” he said.

The funding will go towards scaling up the company's techniques to gain a robust manufacturing process.

• Semprius will explain their technology and its potential in more detail in the June edition of

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