Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. (hereafter Toppan Printing; head office: Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo; President & Representative Director: Shingo Kaneko) and SCIVAX Corporation (hereafter SCIVAX; Head office: Kawasaki City, Kanagawa; President & Representative Director: Satoru Tanaka) have agreed to enter into capital and business alliances to expand their nanoimprint businesses, for which demand is increasing rapidly.
Toppan will make an investment in SCIVAX, the world’s only company to be successful in the development of nanoimprint technologies, and acquire more than 25% percent of its shares in November 2016 to become the largest shareholder. With this undertaking, Toppan Printing will be making a full-scale entry into the nanoimprint business.
The two companies will fuse Toppan’s semiconductor photomask-related lithography and master mold manufacturing technologies with SCIVAX’s optical design and nanoimprint fabrication technologies to provide comprehensive services from development of applications to the manufacturing of master molds and mass production of final products.
Moreover, Toppan Printing will establish production lines for volume production to respond to demand for optical devices and unique products developed by SCIVAX. Sample shipments of large-area nanoimprint products will begin in 2017.
Nanoimprint lithography is a transfer technology that involves building minute structures by placing a nano (one-billionth of a meter)-order patterned mold onto imprinted materials such as resin. It is expected to be applied to a wide range of fields, such as lens arrays and other optical devices, displays, and bio/medical applications, due to the manufacturing process being inexpensive compared to that of photolithography for semiconductor device fabrication.
SCIVAX is the only company in the world to offer commissioned processing services for nanoimprint (nanoimprint foundry services) in various fields based on its independently developed nanoimprint technologies. Currently, the company is handling a number of commercialization projects. SCIVAX has already started some commissioned production, mainly for wafer processing, and its performance is widely recognized.
Toppan produces master molds, applying optical design and microfabrication processes for such items as semiconductor photomasks and silicon stencil masks. The company also has large-scale glass substrate processing technologies and supplies liquid crystal color filters to panel manufacturers all over the world.
This tie-up will accelerate the development of large-area nanoimprint volume production technology and establish a business model for providing comprehensive solutions from application development to pilot manufacture and volume production.
・Lens arrays for optical devices, diffractive optical elements: Specific examples include vein authentication and other security-related applications.
・Wire grid polarizer: Specific examples include displays for TVs, mobile devices, and automobiles.
・Analysis chip for bio and medical applications: Specific examples include cell culture sheets and DNA analysis chips
Based on these capital and business alliances, Toppan Printing is aiming to establish a comprehensive production system from optical design to mold manufacturing and imprint processes. In particular, the company will establish the world’s first volume production system for large-area nanoimprint to extend its applications to a variety of fields and expand business. Toppan will also facilitate global expansion of the business by addressing the needs of overseas customers based on utilizing its worldwide sales network covering such areas as the United States, Europe, and Asia.
From 2014 to 2015, SCIVAX received investment from Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, KISCO Ltd., and others, and was successful in the commercialization of nanoimprint commission services. Moreover, through the tie-up with Toppan Printing, SCIVAX’s independently developed simultaneous processing of large-area nanoimprint will accelerate the development of technology for mass production systems.
Based on the alliances, both companies will offer proposals on structures using optical design simulations and develop original products while establishing volume production technology for large-area nanoimprinting, targeting sales of 20 billion yen for fiscal 2020.
*The information in this press release is current as of the date of publication and is subject to change without notice.