Arrowhead Research Corporation (NASDAQ: ARWR) announced today that its majority owned subsidiary, Unidym, Inc., has entered into a joint development agreement with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a leading maker of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, to extend their successful collaboration into a third year. The companies have been working jointly to integrate carbon nanotube materials as the transparent conductive layer in display devices. In the past 12 months of the collaboration, Samsung Electronics has used Unidym's film product to demonstrate the world's first 14.3-inch color electrophoretic display (EPD). EPDs have inherent advantages over traditional flat panel displays due to their low power consumption and bright light readability. EPDs are currently being used in products such as Amazon's Kindle, an electronic book device.
Next generation displays are expected to require a transparent electrode material that delivers process simplification, is mechanically robust, and meets necessary cost, flexibility and reliability targets. Carbon nanotubes simplify the transparent conductor deposition process because they can be wet processed utilizing printing techniques, or through roll to roll coating processes, in contrast to the current time-consuming vacuum sputtering deposition process required by indium tin oxide (ITO) and indium zinc oxide (IZO). Additionally, ITO and IZO materials typically used in today's transparent electrodes can show as much as 100% degradation in conductivity after as few as 100 bending cycles; whereas Unidym's carbon nanotube based electrodes show minimal degradation under the same conditions. This increased mechanical robustness of nanotubes opens new possibilities for next generation display applications.
"We were proud to work with Samsung Electronics in demonstrating the first black and white and color electrophoretic displays based on carbon nanotubes and hope to complete qualification of our CNT films in Samsung Electronics' flexible display products," said Mark Tilley, Unidym's CEO and president.