Curing and NovaCentrix’s PulseForge
Nearly two decades ago, designers and manufacturers started demanding more innovative curing solutions for the growing printed, flexible electronics market. NovaCentrix listened.
The Origin Story of PulseForge Tools
Nanoaluminum Powder and an Ordinary Camera Flash
At the same time, Dr. Kurt Schroder was experimenting with nanoaluminum particles by initiating their combustion with pulsed light. He realized that their high surface-area-to-mass ratio meant that if enough optical power could be applied, the amount of energy needed to cause ignition was very little. He then successfully used a $7 disposable flash camera as the source. By extention, he theorized that pulsed light could also be used to instantly heat printed nanosilver and nano copper traces on plastic and paper, curing them instantly without damage to the substrate. He called this process “photonic curing” and for this was named “Inventor of the Year” for the state of Texas in 2012 –the same award given to Jack Kilby for the invention of the integrated circuit.
We branded this flashlamp-based system, PulseForge® tools. The value proposition was, and still is, to replace large, slow, energy consuming ovens typically used for processing for thermal processing, initially for conductive inks and printed electronics, with a system that is compact, fast, energy efficient, and higher performing. Saving energy while enabling our customers to develop and manufacture new products is a fundamental NovaCentrix tenet that carries through to today. With hundreds of PulseForge tools shipped and patents filed, we continue to move forward, defining new PulseForge products, all while continuing to expand our market and application scope.