Unidym, Inc, a majority-owned subsidiary of Arrowhead Research Corporation, announced today that it has entered into a second joint development agreement with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. to extend their collaboration into a second year. The companies have been working jointly to integrate carbon nanotube materials as the transparent conductive layer in display devices. One achievement from the first year of this collaboration was the world's first public demonstration of a working prototype of a carbon nanotube-based active matrix electrophoretic display (EPD) e-paper at the Society for Information Display (SID) International Symposium in May of 2008.
Next generation displays are expected to require a transparent electrode material that simplifies the deposition process and that is mechanically robust to meet 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 more difficult and time-consuming vacuum sputtering deposition process required by indium tin oxide (ITO) and indium zinc oxide (IZO). Additionally, in testing, ITO and IZO materials typically used in today's transparent electrodes have shown a doubling in sheet resistance after as few as 100 bending cycles around a 9.7mm mandrel, 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 look forward to another successful year of joint development with the entry into this new agreement," said Art Swift, Unidym's CEO and president. "We believe that the use of carbon nanotubes in next generation displays is a natural application of this material, and we are pleased to be developing these potentially groundbreaking technologies with Samsung Electronics, a world leader in display technologies."
"We have made significant progress in the first year of our joint development agreement. The results of the collaboration have exceeded our expectations, and have been accomplished ahead of schedule," said Dr. Paul Drzaic, chief technical officer of Unidym. "In this second year we are looking to build upon these first year accomplishments, and extend the capabilities for carbon nanotubes as transparent conductors even further in various display applications."