OLEDs show promise for rugged HMIs

U.S. Display Consortium gives Signal Technologies $280,000 to further commercialize nanotechnology-based coatings for organic light emitting diodes and other applications. It should help resolve....

By Control Engineering Staff June 12, 2008

San Jose, CA— Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are a common and effective human machine interface (HMI) display technology, but they have some limitations. They can have trouble operating at low temperatures, require a significant amount of energy to run, and need a backlight under certain conditions. One newer technology that holds promise is organic light emitting diodes, or OLEDs.

The U.S. Display Consortium (USDC) has awarded a $280,000 cost-shared award to Sigma Technologies International Inc. , in Tucson, AZ, to develop and demonstrate new conductive, transparent polymer-based coatings for use in OLEDs and other applications.

Sigma has demonstrated its ability to produce these new coatings with a film thickness of as little as 2 to 3 nanometers.-film coatings using several conductive polymer binders. The proposed coatings are expected to have higher conductivity than conventional nanosilver-based coatings, and higher transparency over polymer-only conductive coatings or silver and ITO nanoparticle-based coatings. 

Chief technology officer of USDC, Dr. Mark Hartney, commented, “An important part of this program includes developing a cost model for the nanoflake polymer combinations. To replace sputtered ITO, as used today, these nanoflakes will need to meet both technical performance and manufacturing cost targets.”

Fewer compromises

“Through this project with USDC, Sigma intends to solve the current coating materials compromise we often face between achieving good conductivity and good optical properties,” said Dr. Angelo Yializis, chief executive officer of Sigma.

The USDC program is a collaborative effort of private industry and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, located in Adelphi, Maryland.

For more on other technology advances for rugged HMIs, look for the print issue Archives for July 2008 online at www.controleng.com .

— Edited by Renee Robbins , senior editor
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