Advantech U.S., Inc. was founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Dr. T. Peter Brody. He originally named the company Amedeo, Corp. With the advent of additional investors, the company evolved into Advantech U.S., Inc., the company uses AMAX as a brand name. Dr. Brody passed away in 2011. In early 2012 he was posthumously awarded the prestigious Charles Stark Draper Prize for co-inventing the liquid crystal display (LCD). In awarding him the prize, the National Academy of Engineering acknowledged Peter Brody as having “....created windows through which people are learning about and shaping our world,” In 2011 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize.

Peter Brody believed that there exists a low cost, “elegant” solution for making complicated micro-circuitry, a solution without the considerable capital cost and environmental impact of today’s complex photolithography processes. Under his guidance, Advantech U.S. developed an additive manufacturing technology with the intention of incorporating his process into the manufacture of flat panel displays. His technique was ideal for fabricating a display’s “active matrix backplane”, the display’s electronic array which Dr. Brody invented.

Technology

At Advantech U.S., we offer a different approach to microelectronic and fine line fabrication: a low cost alternative solution using our Evaporation Printing™ method that combines thermal and e-beam evaporation of materials through a fine metal foil called a shadow mask. Shadow masks are thin metal foils having well-defined, small apertures on the micron size scale allowing evaporated material to be deposited onto a substrate in discrete shapes to create device features necessary for electrical circuit fabrication.

Advantech U.S. has improved existing shadow mask technology by developing proprietary shadow mask design, mounting, and tensioning, all of which are parts of our mask management solution. Our unique microelectronic device fabrication process consists of multiple shadow masks having different aperture arrays in combination with a novel alignment system that allows us to fabricate microcircuits in a stepped, in-line approach. Our proprietary advances to shadow mask management and alignment registration provide the opportunity to fabricate circuits containing transistors, capacitors, resistors and Microlines™. These structures can be easily fabricated on any type of rigid or flexible substrate with feature sizes under 10µm at better than 1µm placement accuracy without the need for conventional lithography.

Early in 2011, Advantech U.S. management took their first step toward establishing process scalability. Advantech U.S. designed and built the MiniLine™, a unique inline process machine. The MiniLine™ design’s advantages include speed of operation and low capital cost when compared to photolithography equipment. Its footprint is minimal as are its labor requirements.

Commissioning and process development of the MiniLin™ began late in 2012, with location in Advantech U.S.’s new facility in Pittsburgh, PA. Advantech U.S. is using the machine to confirm proof of concept, and devise scalability appropriate for target markets.