iBeam Materials Receives New Federal R&D Funding

Following Breakthrough in LED Technology

March 14, 2016

SANTA FE, NM  – iBeam Materials, Inc. (iBeam), a pioneer in developing thin film technology that enables light emitting materials on large flexible foils, and a Santa Fe startup, announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) has awarded it funding under the new Small Business Vouchers (SBV) Pilot Program totaling $225,000. 33 companies nationwide were chosen for funding to work with DOE national labs on transformative advanced energy technologies. iBeam will use these funds to accelerate its light-emitting process technology development. The new funding follows iBeam’s demonstration of the first-in-the-world LEDs fabricated directly on flexible metal foil.  This breakthrough in inorganic LED technology allows for whole new game-changing product categories, including Light Emitting Sheets and super-bright flexible displays.

Dr. Mike Krames of Arkesso in Silicon Valley, and a technology leader in the LED industry, commented on iBeam’s technology, “iBeam’s approach to LED manufacturing is radically different from what industry is currently doing and has the potential to be hugely disruptive in applications such as emissive displays.”

DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) had initially funded iBeam for development of GaN (gallium nitride) on flexible metal two years ago. Late last year ARPA-E awarded iBeam $890,000 in follow-on funding. The new SBV funds will go to Sandia National Laboratories to support iBeam’s development of LED technology. Sandia is a key partner in this project.

iBeam Materials uses advanced thin film technology to replace rigid crystal substrates with inexpensive large-area flexible metal foil. LEDs are currently manufactured on single-crystal sapphire wafers restricting both size and the ability to use low-cost manufacturing processes. iBeam has developed a patent-pending alternative process that allows deposition of epitaxial GaN directly on many different substrates including thin, flexible metal foil. This breakthrough enables LEDs to be manufactured using low-cost roll-to-roll manufacturing, which in turn enables new products in much larger areas compared to single-crystal substrates.

Dr. Vladimir Matias, Founder and President of iBeam Materials, said, “We are very grateful and honored to receive the new SBV funding as well as the support of our Sandia colleagues. iBeam is at the forefront of a breakthrough light emitting technology. The initial LED devices made on iBeam’s metal substrates demonstrate internal quantum efficiency of over 50% of the devices made on sapphire. But this is just the beginning of the potential for this technology. iBeam’s process essentially unshackles high-performance semiconductors from the requirement of single-crystal wafers and gives us scale and flexibility for electronic and optoelectronic devices. We see enormous potential and markets for this technology.”

About iBeam Materials

iBeam Materials, Inc. was founded in 2011 in order to commercialize an ion-beam technology for crystal alignment in thin films that provides high-performance electronic and energy devices. Dr. Vladimir Matias, the world leader in this ion-beam technology, spun the company out of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) where he worked for eleven years as a team and project leader. His work there was recognized with two national R&D 100 awards and he has over 150 technical papers and a dozen patents. Prior to LANL Dr. Matias worked at two startups and has Physics degrees from Caltech and Stanford University.

The DOE EERE announcement 

AP story on SBV program announcement

Senator Tom Udall’s Office PR

Arkesso information