BOSTON, November 8, 2007 – A grant was awarded to Reactive Innovations, LLC from the National Science Foundation to formulate, design, and fabricate a thin film flexible barrier coating specifically for Flexible OLEDs (FOLEDs). One of the biggest advantages of OLEDs over other display technologies is the ability to fabricate them on flexible substrates, mainly because of the efficient, emissive, solid-state nature of the devices and the absence of viewing angle effects. Flexible substrates, including plastics, have several advantages over glass such as ruggedness, robustness, ultra-light weight, conformability and impact resistance. However, use of FOLEDs is hampered by limited lifetime exhibited by these displays, due to ingress of water and oxygen into the device. To this end, Reactive Innovations, LLC (RIL), along with our partner Neo-Advent Technologies, will formulate, design and fabricate a thin film flexible barrier coating specifically for FOLEDs. This technology will enable a flexible coating with outstanding barrier properties that can be applied with standard (non physical/chemical vapor deposition) coating processes. Our commercialization partner, Universal Display Corporation, will assist RIL by advising on FOLED coating requirements and evaluating barrier coated substrates with the goal of incorporating the barrier coating into their products.
Organic Light Emitting Devices in general, and Flexible OLEDs in particular, represent a new technology that is more efficient, brighter and easier to manufacture than current display technology. It is likely that organic light emitting materials will replace older display technologies much like compact discs have relegated cassette tapes to storage bins. For OLED displays to capture a significant share of the flat panel display marketplace, the technology cost must continue to be driven downward. That trend is now underway, with leading market analysts predicting the OLED market to exceed $3 Billion by 2008. FOLEDs can accelerate this trend, by allowing the introduction of many new types of products. Development of high yield, low cost FOLED technology will accelerate commercialization of OLED based products, such as: wrist mounted, featherweight rugged PDAs, wearable form fitting electronic displays, high contrast automotive instrument/windshield displays, heads up instrumentation for aircraft, roll-up, electronic, daily refreshable newspapers and ultra-lightweight, wall size television monitors. Although the proposed technology will be developed for FOLEDs, it has a broad scope of applications where flexible barrier coatings are required. Specifically, these markets include food/beverage packaging and barrier technologies for thin film/flat plate photovoltaic devices.