Critical Need for this Technology
The manufacturers of organic electronic devices want low-cost, reliable materials matched to the specific needs of their devices. This would allow them to improve the quality of the devices sold to customers. The organic electronics industry manufactures OLED televisions, flexible displays, printable electronics, flexible solar cells and other items. All of these devices require organic materials for their operation.
During Light and Charge Solution’s customer discovery, there were many complaints about existing options such as inconsistent quality of materials, lack of options for new devices, the prohibitive cost of new exotic materials, incompatibility with manufacturing techniques. The incompatibility and lack of matching materials are the most prohibitive for manufacturing, preventing access new revenue streams.
Potential CO2 Reduction
Reducing the power consumption of the screens in phones, tablets, televisions, computer monitors, and notebook computers results in a reduction of GHG emissions from electricity generation. Currently, liquid crystal display (LCD) technology is commonly used with either a fluorescent or light-emitting diode (LED) backlight. Recent and emerging technologies such as organic LEDs (OLED), micro-LEDs, and quantum dot emissive materials have the potential to significantly increase the efficiency of displays.
Generating the electricity that is used to produce generation in consumer electronic displays causes approximately 130 MtCO2e of emissions each year. Using Light and Charge Solutions’ materials would reduce these emissions by approximately 60% relative to currently used materials.
Currently, the emphasis for commercial OLEDs has been on improving overall device efficiency by adding extra layers to perform the various functions, but this creates significant manufacturing complexity and high cost. Such an approach creates significant challenges in solution printing, thus, there is a need to reduce layers. Previous attempts at single layer printable OLEDs have been reported by various research groups and have been successful on laboratory scale, demonstrating the need for further development of high throughput technology.
The potential for this technology will be to reach mass production of printable electronics for companies such as LG, Samsung, Panasonic, along with progressing development of innovative displays produced by JOLED, Royole, and WiseChip. The organic electronic materials market is currently estimated to be $1.2 billion and is expected to grow by 5 percent by 2025, because of increasing demand for these materials.
L&CS develops customized charge transport materials that enable high-throughput printing and unlock new revenue streams for OLED manufacturing.
R & D Status of Project
L&CS first developed its proof of concept technology in 2017, showing improved stability of materials and potential for simplified manufacturing with its multi-functional materials. In 2019, L&CS filed a provisional patent, and received its first SEED funding. The first pilot testing began in spring 2020, and the company is continuing development of minimum viable product based on the customer feedback.
Margaret Kocherga – Founder and CEO of Light and Charge Solutions, LLC
Thomas A. Schmedake – technical mentor of Light and Charge Solutions, LLC
Primary industry: Chemical Materials
Category: Materials, organic electronics
Estimated annual revenue: NA
Social challenge: Energy efficiency, greener electronics
R&D commercial collaborator: NA