UDC Announces Partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical, Completion of Facility Expansion

EWING, N.J. – Universal Display Corp. (UDC) and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC) on May 30 announced a partnership the two companies hope will expand the availability and commercial viability of phosphorescent organic-light-emitting-diode (PHOLED) display technology through the development of ink-jet-printable materials.

The use of ink-jet printing for large-area OLED displays is an approach to manufacturing displays that may be more cost-effective for manufacturers than the current standard of vacuum thermal evaporation (VTE) method, according to UDC's Vice President of Technology Commercialization, Janice Mahon. With VTE, manufacturers start with materials in a crystalline or powder form, Mahon explained. But with ink-jet printing, materials need to start in a liquid, solution-processable form so they can be deposited directly into printheads. Many in the display industry believe this may reduce production overhead by eliminating the need for costly VTE equipment and conserving materials by using them only where needed. However, Mahon stressed, it is still too early to say for certain whether VTE or ink-jet printing will be most cost-effective in the end.

Under the UDC/MCC partnership, MCC will develop these liquid materials and UDC will put them to work printing PHOLEDs, Mahon said. No plans for product commercialization have been announced as of yet.

"MCC is great at developing ink-jet formulations. They make a number of dyes and things like that, and they really have expertise in developing these kinds of formulations," Mahon said. "And we (UDC) have our phosphorescent OLED technology, so we're going to work together to try and combine our complementary skill sets to expand the availability of phosphorescent printable materials."

While this partnership is the latest PHOLED collaboration for UDC, it isn't the first. On May 24, the company announced its plans to work with Nippon Steel Chemical Co. Ltd. (NSCC) on the development of new markets for red PHOLEDs.

"The point we really want to make about the Mitsubishi agreement is that it's non-exclusive," Mahon said. "We're really trying to work with a number of different companiesto help grow this industry. We're trying to work very much in a collaborative way to help build the industry versus controlling it at this point."

The May 2006 expansion of its Ewing, N.J., headquarters is a further sign of UDC's commitment to building the PHOLED industry. The expanded facility has additional clean rooms (pictured) for a new OLED deposition system that has been custom-designed for handling flexible substrates including metal foils, as well as new in-house chemistry laboratories. UDC now has the ability to conduct some of its chemical development and molecule discovery on-site.

"We've (so far) added eight additional chemists since we've brought the labs on and we're still hiring in this area, so we're really bringing on a new fundamental chemical development capability into our own facility," Mahon said. "We've decided it's probably more productive to have the chemical-discovery folks working under the same roof with the device-development folks."

– Jessica Quandt

Luminus Devices Secures Additional $38 Million Investment for PhlatLight Technology Development

WOBURN, Mass. – Luminus Devices Inc., a manufacturer and developer of high-efficiency solid-state lighting devices, announced in early May that the company will receive approximately $38 million in new venture financing to expand its PhlatLight line of lighting-source chipsets. The funding will come from a number of investors, including Battery Venture Partners, Argonaut Private Equity, Stata Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ-New England, and Eastward Capital.

Based on research done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and developed by Luminus, PhlatLight technology is based on the patented photonic lattice structures from which its name is derived. It is the only solid-state light source that provides enough brightness to illuminate large-screen projection televisions, according to the company.

"With this investment, our team of investors has continued to demonstrate their confidence in the direction in which Luminus is headed," Luminus Devices CEO Udi Meirav said in a company statement. "We are tremendously encouraged by the level of interest in our PhlatLight technology and the opportunity this investment has afforded us to meet our customers' demand."

PhlatLight chipsets are currently in production and are used for projection TVs and other advanced, high-definition displays. According to Luminus, PhlatLight devices are used by several well-known consumer-electronics companies including Samsung, which uses the technology in its HL-S5679W 56-in. rear-projection TV. PhlatLight devices also received several accolades at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show, including the "Best Buzz" award in the "Best New Enabling Technology" category.

"Luminus's determination and unparalleled focus on high-definition display applications remains a key to its success," investor Battery Ventures General Partner Morgan Jones said in a Luminus company statement. "We are excited about the momentum building around PhlatLight technology and are confident that Luminus has the leadership and manufacturing capabilities to lead the way in designing and producing new and powerful solid-state light sources."

– Staff Reports

Uni-Pixel Inc., Palo Alto Research Center to Collaborate on Development of TMOS Display Technology

THE WOODLANDS, Tex. – Uni-Pixel Inc. will soon begin work with the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) on the development and commercialization of Uni-Pixel's Time Multiplexed Optical Shutter (TMOS) flat-panel-display (FPD) technology, the company announced in mid-May. TMOS is a microelectronic mechanical system (MEMS) patented by Uni-Pixel that uses a single pixel structure to emit the full color spectrum.

PARC will work with Uni-Pixel on TMOS subsystem development that will aid the commercialization of the flat-panel technology, according to Uni-Pixel. The company believes TMOS will offer significant advantages over existing technologies by enabling lower manufacturing costs, greater power efficiencies, improved image quality, increased durability and reliability, versatile production sizes, and flexible, shapeable and transparent display capabilities.

"The Uni-Pixel/PARC collaboration will help in defining a licensable commercial manufacturing process for our TMOS display technology," Uni-Pixel Inc. President Reed Killion said in a company statement. "We are targeting multiple engineering prototypes by the first quarter of 2007 which will be used by our vertical market partners for life and environmental testing as part of their qualification effort. Our ability to realize the engineering prototypes in a reasonable time frame is enhanced tremendously by our relationship with PARC."

PARC is a subsidiary of the Xerox Corp. that conducts sponsored research aimed at creating commercial value in a variety of industries, according to information released by the research center. PARC also licenses intellectual property and technology. But perhaps most important to its collaboration with Uni-Pixel is PARC's experience in working with MEMS technology. According to research center information, a key aspect of PARC's research strategy is to move MEMS beyond its micro-scale origins in order to create a new field it calls Systemic MEMS, which includes μEMS (micro-scale), mEMS (meso-scale), and MEMS (macro-scale).

"Working with Uni-Pixel is an exciting way for PARC to contribute our capabilities in MEMS and large-area electronics to commercializing a unique technology," PARC project leader Dr. Raj B. Apte said in a statement.

– Staff Reports

DuPont Opens Research Center in Korea, Starts Construction on Second Direct Bonding Facility in China

WILMINGTON, Del. and TORRANCE, Calif. – DuPont recently announced the opening of a new research center in Korea and the commencement of construction on the company's display division's second production line of liquid-crystal display (LCD) direct bonding in Shenzen, China.

The DuPont Korea Technology Center, which is intended to support research-and-development needs of the quickly growing electronics and automotive industries in Asia, is located on the campus of the Korean Institute of Science and Technology in Seoul, Korea. The first area of focus for research at the Center will be on basic research and applications development in the field of materials science for flat-panel displays (FPDs), according to a company statement.

"The Center is an important milestone for DuPont Korea in providing technology and service to key customers in the electronics, automotive and construction markets," DuPont Korea President Cheoroo Won said in the statement. "We expect to accelerate our sales growth in those areas in the near future."

DuPont has also begun construction in Shenzen, China, on a new line that will more than double the company's direct-bonding capacity and clean-room space in the region. The new line will respond to increased customer demand for affordable direct-bonded consumer products such as tabled personal computers and marine electronics, according to the company.

DuPont's direct-bonding technology bonds an anti-reflective glass or filter element directly onto the front of an LCD, dramatically increasing the display's contrast ratio and ruggedness and eliminating the condensation caused by use of a cover plate, according to a company statement. The new line, which is located in the same facility as its predecessor, is scheduled to become operational in the fourth quarter of 2006, with plans for the launch of a third line in 2007.

– Staff Reports

Display Briefs

Mitsubishi Chemical Group Science and Technology Research Center Inc. (MCRC) announced on May 16 it has developed a solution-based organic semiconductor material that can be used with a lower-cost wet-coating process. MCRC expects the new material to lead to the development of a new class of large flat-panel displays.

Samsung's Digital Media Division has teamed up with Samsung subsidiary Cheil Industries to develop a light-emitting-diode (LED)-based liquid-crystal-display (LCD) TV backlighting unit (BLU) with lower weight and thickness than existing products. The new BLU uses red, green and blue LEDs around the edge of the unit and a light-guide-plate technology from Cheil to ensure uniform color mixing and light distribution. Samsung also announced on May 2 it has developed a 7-in. WVGA single-chip LCD for mobile displays. The company claims its product is the industry's first amorphous silicon 7-in., single-chip TFT-LCD panel that reproduces colors in high resolution.

Delta Electronics has established a research-and-development team to develop LED-backlighting technology. Delta has already delivered some samples to customers.

eMagin Corp. in mid-April announced the first four products in its portfolio of OLED-XL microdisplays. According to the company, the OLED-XL devices provide up to 410,000 hours of luminance life, the widest temperature range, and the lowest power requirement of any commercially available SVGA-resolution microdisplay system, according to the company.

Sony Corp. announced on May 17 that it would merge two subsidiaries, Sony Chemical Corp. and Sony Miyagi Corp., in an attempt to improve profitability of its television business by producing films used in LCD-TV production in-house. The merger will take effect July 1. The new subsidiary will be called Sony Chemical & Information Device Corp.

Submit Your News Releases
Please send all press releases and new product announcements to:
Jessica Quandt
Information Display Magazine
411 Lafayette Street, Suite 201
New York, NY 10003
Fax: 212.460.5460
e-mail: jess@sid.org