Irresistible Materials secures funding boost and new Chairman

Posted on Thursday 23rd May 2013

Irresistible Materials (IM), a UK materials technology company spun-out from the University of Birmingham,  is pleased to announce £290,000 of further support from its investing shareholder (Mercia Fund Management) and new business angels from the US and UK, coupled with the appointment of Stuart McIntosh as its new Chairman. 

Stuart has 40 years experience of the semiconductor industry. Previously, he was the President of ASML a multi-billion pound company and the one of the world’s leading suppliers of lithography tools to the semiconductor industry.

IM was created in 2010 to further develop and commercialise the University of Birmingham’s photo-resist technology for the next generation of microchips. 

Photo-resists are critical materials in the computer chip manufacturing process as they enable chip manufacturers to fabricate ever smaller features for microelectronic devices.  Beyond 2016 current photo-resist technologies cannot be used as these features will be too small for existing polymeric photo-resists, hence the need for a new generation of technology.  IM’s solution, based on a unique fullerene material developed at the University of Birmingham, has been successfully demonstrated to meet these requirements and the company has started engaging with the key industry suppliers to evaluate samples.

Stuart, said “The semiconductor industry has spent many billions developing EUV technologies for 2016 production lines.  Recently, ASML, the largest supplier of lithography tools to the global semiconductor markets, publically announced a significant investment by three of the largest semiconductor companies in the world to support R&D programmes necessary to produce the technologies the industry has laid out in the road map for lithography.  IM has one of these critical technology components for EUV chip production and I’m pleased and excited to be working with this team of highly motivated people, who have successfully developed a leading technology using Fullerene materials and structures. ”

Everard Mascarenhas of the Mercia Fund Management commented, “IM has made excellent progress both technically and commercially. Along-side the new investment, we are very pleased that the Company has succeeded in attracting an experienced and successful management team to continue the impressive development of the company.”

David Coleman, Head of Spinout Portfolio for the University of Birmingham said “IM is a great example of the type of spinout company that we develop.  It has a unique material, proven to meet a critical need in the semiconductor industry, and a very experienced team in place well backed to undertake the next stages of its business plan.” 

-ENDS-

About Irresistible Materials

Irresistible Materials is a University of Birmingham spinout company created to commercialise the fullerene based photo-resist technology developed by Professor Richard Palmer, Dr Alex Robinson, Professor Jon Preece and colleagues.  The next generation of chip, 2016 and beyond, will require a new photo-resist technology as existing polymer based photo resists do not have sufficient performance to support Extreme ultra-violet light (EUV) lithography.  Fullerene based resists are between 10 and 10,000 times smaller than those which are polymer based leading to enhanced performance.  IM has been able to demonstrate that its patented solution meets all the major performance criteria set by the industry’s ITRS technology road and results below 20nm.  Chip manufacturers are expected to be proto-typing their 2016 production lines by the end of 2013 ahead of scaling up to full production in 2016.  The company is now in discussion with many of the industry’s key photo-resist suppliers and chip manufacturers to evaluate its solutions for 2016 chip production.

About Mercia Fund Management

Mercia Fund Management (MFM) is a venture capital fund manager with over £17 million under active management.

MFM provides investment growth capital for businesses ranging from early commercial traction through to those seeking expansion or working capital that are trading profitably. Furthermore, MFM can also provide cost-effective incubator accommodation at Forward House in Henley-in-Arden coupled with centralised support services in keeping with its model as a hands-on, supportive investor.

Mercia Fund Management is an FCA authorised and regulated fund manager under FSMA (FRN: 524856).

About The University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a truly vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution. Ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 4,000 international students from nearly 150 countries.

The University is home to nearly 30,000 students. With more than 7,500 postgraduate students from across the world, Birmingham is one of the most popular universities for postgraduate study in the UK.

The University plays an integral role in the economic, social and cultural growth of local and regional communities; working closely with businesses and organisations, employing approximately 6,000 staff and providing 10,000 graduates annually.

About Alta Innovations

Alta Innovations Ltd is the technology transfer Office of The University of Birmingham and is responsible for the commercialisation of research undertaken at the University. Alta Innovations links academic research with business through licensing and spinout activity, collaborative research and consultancy projects to generate the new ideas, technologies and processes required to achieve competitive advantage.