Technology commercialisation company BTG is to collaborate with Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) to jointly develop and commercialise a patented light-emitting polymer technology for flexible organic/polymer light-emitting diode (OLED/PLED) information displays.
The portfolio of patents and patent applications licensed to BTG by Ohio State University (OSU), covers devices, fabrication processes, and materials designed to enable the production of OLED/PLED displays.
Under the collaboration, BTG and ITRI will each contribute know-how, technical staff experienced in OLED/PLED technology, laboratory facilities and specialised equipment, and funding for development of the technology.
The initial development project will begin at the MicroMD Laboratory at OSU, where a team of researchers from both BTG and ITRI will work in the chemistry laboratories and clean room facilities to develop the technology into initial functional prototypes. Further development of these prototypes will then continue under joint collaborative efforts at ITRI’s Union Chemical Laboratories (UCL) in Hsinchu, Taiwan.
The light-emitting polymer technology uses OSU’s new OLED/PLED device concept, referred to as Symmetrically Configured A/C Light-Emitting (SCALE). SCALE can host a variety of organic materials, including small molecules and polymers – the two predominant organic display platforms used by manufacturers today.
This SCALE technology, invented at OSU by a research team led by Dr. Arthur Epstein, Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Physics and Chemistry, is claimed to offer a longer lifetime for displays, lower picture degradation over time, and a more efficient use of pixels (two colours can be extracted from one pixel).
SCALE is also compatible with existing manufacturing processes, and BTG believes that if used in roll-to-roll manufacturing, SCALE will have the potential to enable cost-effective mass production of OLED/PLED displays on ultra-thin flexible substrates. Displays using ultra-thin flexible substrates will ultimately enable a next-generation of products to be designed that could allow manufacturers to place displays on curved surfaces (such as dashboards) and could allow users to simply roll up the display after use.