Applied teams with Oregon State U to develop advanced films for next-gen display products
By Suzanne Deffree, Managing Editor, News - July 2, 2008
The US Display Consortium (USDC), a public/private partnership chartered with developing the flat-panel display and flexible electronics supply chain, today announced a cost-shared contract award with Applied Materials Inc to develop metal-oxide films for next-generation TFTs (thin-film transistors).
Through the agreement, Oregon State University (OSU), an established player in transparent electronics research, will work with Applied’s display business group-AKT. In doing so, the USDC-sponsored program will bring together the US government, private industry, and university participants to allow research and development for future display technology.
Withholding specific goals, USDC said the R&D program will aim to “significantly” improve device performance and reduce display cost per area. New metal-oxide films are one of the promising disruptive technologies for next-generation panels because they have higher electron mobility and the potential to reduce costs through lower temperature processing, the San Jose-based consortium said, adding that metal oxide films are also expected to be used for fabricating flexible displays and backplanes for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) applications.
“The exponential growth of the display industry has been driven by continuous improvements in performance and cost,” Gilad Almogy (pictured left), group VP and general manager of Applied Materials’ display and thin film solar products group, said in a statement. “I am happy to launch this new development program expanding our technology portfolio, which is expected to further contribute to the growing applications for digital information displays.”
“USDC is pleased to have the team of Applied Materials and OSU working together to resolve fundamental issues in the manufacturing of displays,” Dr. Mark Hartney, USDC’s CTO, said in the statement. “This is a very strong partnership, bringing together OSU’s leading–edge R&D in transparent electronics and AKT/Applied Materials’ world-class technology development capability.”
The USDC program is expected to take a year to complete. Additional support will be provided by the US Army’s Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University.
USDC did not detail the cost-sharing aspect of the agreement with Applied.
The USDC in May announced the competition of a similar program focused on flexible OLED displays. That cooperative R&D program with GE Global Research saw the company demonstrated an ultra-high barrier thin-film encapsulation process on a wide variety of OLED structures through a batchmode, PECVD (plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition) process. According to the two parties, the process solves a critical need in the display industry for high-performance, hermetic packaging and allows lightweight, flexible rugged flat panel devices to be manufactured by a low cost, high throughput process such as roll-to-roll manufacturing.