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Honeywell, industry group collaborate on flexible electronics

Posted: 25 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flexible electronics? flat panel display? agreement? Honeywell? USDC?

An agreement to develop materials to prevent short circuits in flexible electronics has been forged between Honeywell International Inc. and the U.S. Display Consortium (USDC). This is the second agreement between Honeywell and the USDC, with the first resulting in a new family of materials for the flat-panel display industry.

Under the $500,000 agreement, Honeywell will focus on developing materials to prevent short circuits in leading-edge flexible electronics for devices used by the United States military. Flexible electronics are key to the military's goal of employing rugged yet lightweight and highly mobile flexible electronic equipment. Similar to the first agreement, beta site testing of these new materials will take place at the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University.

Military and commercial use
"We continue to find new opportunities to apply our deep knowledge of materials traditionally used for semiconductors to the growing area of displays and flexible electronics," said Peter Smith, display business director for Honeywell Specialty Materials. "Besides delivering value and functionality to the U.S. military, we believe new materials developed as part of this collaboration will apply to commercial uses."

Honeywell will be developing materials used in flexible displays, OLED and flexible photovoltaics. Flexible displays are extremely thin displays created by building electronic circuits on flexible substrates. OLEDs are an emerging display technology that uses less power than LCDs.

In addition to developing new materials, Honeywell will work to deliver cost of ownership advantages as compared to the technologies and approaches that are currently being employed.

Mark Hartney, CTO of the U.S. Display Consortium, stated, "This project is important for the development of flexible electronics, especially displays, where the use of new substrate materials such as metal foils or plastic films can offer new form factors and potentially lower costs through new manufacturing methods. These novel substrate materials need improved planarization and isolation from conducting substrates, and Honeywell's Electronic Materials group brings a wealth of expertise to this challenge."

Planarizing expert
Flexible electronic devices are built on either a plastic or stainless steel substrate, or foundation. To avoid short circuits, surfaces need to be made as smooth, or planarized, as possible. Additionally, if a metal substrate is used, it needs to be insulated from the electronic devices built on its surface.

Honeywell has extensive experience developing planarizing materials and is a pioneer in the development of insulating materials that are used in the production of integrated circuits in the semiconductor industry. That expertise is being leveraged towards the development of new materials for flat panel display applications.

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