Printed and flexible electronics industry will become one of the major high-tech industries of the next decade. Much of its growth are fueled by novel applications that are not possible with silicon-based inorganic materials. However, one critical factor that is currently hampering the growth of this exciting industry is the poor performance of current organic functional materials.
Because several fabrication technologies (e.g. inkjet, gravure, etc.) capable of depositing organic materials with high throughput are already available, Polyera seeks to solve this crucial issue by working closely with leading device manufacturers to develop a variety of new organic functional materials and inks with high performance.
The diagram below shows our business model:
Polyera's Business Model
The first step in the discovery process is to conceptualize structures for a material with desired characteristics and to develop appropriate synthetic pathways for it. Polyera’s R&D effort is based on a two-pronged development strategy: 1) continual refinement of existing materials and 2) pioneering exploration into new materials classes. This ensures that we are not only able to offer current-generation materials tailored for specific customer needs, but also that we are able to continue to discover new materials classes with performance breakthroughs.
Once a compound is synthesized, our scientists will work to dissolve it into solution to investigate its commercial applications. Our goal is to develop functional inks that can be used in a mass-production setting. To achieve our target on commercialization, we must consider not only standard performance characteristics such as charge-carrier mobility, but also factors such as processability, scalability, robustness, shelf- and operating lifetime, and cost.
Device Fabrication & Evaluation
Once an ink is formulated, our device physicists will use it to fabricate multiple devices in a variety of processing conditions to assess its performance as well as ease-of-processing level and envrionmental stability. When we have demonstrated an ink's performance at Polyera, we will work closely with potential customers to sample our materials and to help optimize their results. We will also collect feedback to improve the design and formulation of our next generation of materials.
Once the customer can reliably produce devices with desired performance in the lab and/or a pilot, they will integrate our materials into the production processes. We will continue to assist our customers to ultimately launch the end-products.
Although Polyera is focused on the development of functional inks, we have invested heavily in developing world-leading know-how in the processing of functional inks as well as in the understanding of device physics. The benefit of having these capabilities is two-fold:
2. It helps customers achieve more rapid commercialization. By developing the know-how in material processing, and device fabrication and evaluation, we can help our customers acquire the expertise needed to integrate our materials into their processes and applications. These close customer interactions often produce improvement in prototype performance as well as reduction in manufacturing complexity, leading to a shorter time to market.
Finally, Polyera's expertise is in the development of materials and in the support of our customers, not in the mass production of chemicals. For this reason, we partner with leading manufacturers to produce our functional inks, ensuring our customers in obtaining reliable and consistent supply of our materials in commercial volumes.
For information about the flexible and printed electronics industry, see our Industry Overview section.