Flat panel spin-out

A new company which aims to tap into a €70 billion market has been created from the Universities of Dundee and Surrey.


A new company which aims to tap into a €70 billion market has been created in Dundee as a cross-border “spin-out” from the Universities of Dundee and Surrey.


Quantum Filament Technologies will build on joint research findings from the two universities to develop new technologies in the field of flat panel displays, which are becoming ubiquitous in devices from mobile phones and digital cameras to home cinema.


The company has been established in a £750,000 equity deal led by Braveheart Ventures in Perth, and also involving Dundee-based business development company Amcet, Dundee University, Surrey University and the Scottish Co-investment Fund.


Roy Clarke, managing director of QFT, explained the company’s objectives. “We have acquired the rights to exploit some remarkable research from Merv Rose at Dundee and Ravi Silva at Surrey which we believe can alter people’s expectations from flat displays.”


“We are planning to create a technology for the manufacture of display panels which have the brightness, speed and definition of the highest quality cathode-ray tube but can be configured into the thinnest panel. Although liquid crystal displays have improved dramatically over the last few years they are limited in scope compared with the field emission technology we are developing,” added Clarke.


“In the longer term, our technology can contribute to the development of flexible, even wearable, displays or display panelling to replace conventional lighting In the nearer term we know the medical and avionics industries are seeking high performance displays to replace conventional instrumentation in life-critical environments,” concluded Clarke.


Dundee University played a significant role in the development of the kind of flat LCD displays that are widely employed on laptop computers and flatscreen TVs. The technology underpinning those kind of flat screen displays – thin film transistors – was developed at Dundee University in the late 1970s.