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Collaboration to jointly develop to commercialise a light-emitting polymer technology for flexible displays

BTG : 08 October, 2006  (Company News)
BTG, the global technology commercialisation company, today announced a collaboration agreement with Taiwan's Union Chemical Laboratories of the Industrial Technology Research Institute to jointly develop and to commercialise a patented light-emitting polymer technology for flexible organic/polymer light-emitting diode information displays.
The portfolio of patents and patent applications, licensed to BTG by The Ohio State University, covers devices, fabrication processes, and materials designed to enable the production of OLED/PLED information displays with enhanced performance and extended product life. 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 UCL in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

The light-emitting polymer technology uses OSUs new OLED/PLED device concept, referred to as Symmetrically Configured A/c Light-Emitting. 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, will 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 strong 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 product concepts 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.

OLED/PLED displays are poised to replace liquid crystal displays in mobile phones, PDAs, laptop computers and TV sets, due to their relatively low power consumption, high brightness and contrast. According to DisplaySearch, the worldwide leader in flat panel display market research and consulting, OLED revenues will rise to $3 billion in 2007, a compounded annual growth rate of 88 percent (OLED Technology Report).

We are excited about this collaboration, which combines all efforts of research, development and commercialisation from various partners, said Dr. Wu-Hsun Cheng, Vice President of ITRI and General Director of UCL. We expect that this unique technology will make a strong impact on the future display markets.

We are pleased to have an outstanding R&D organisation like ITRI working with us on the development of this light-emitting polymer technology, said Anthony V. Lando, BTGs Chief Operating Officer. We believe ITRIs reputation and experience in the OLED/PLED markets will accelerate development and the penetration of future products resulting from this technology.
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