SBIR Phase I: A new conducting, transparent, solution-processable polymer

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Voltaic Coatings LLC
1 Innovation Way, Suite 100
Newark, DE 19711
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Abstract

The broader impacts/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project involves the development of a variety of conducting polymers which can be solution processed into thin films with high transparency and high conductivity. These films will be used as transparent conductors in devices ranging from flexible displays to photovoltaic cells. The ease of solution processing will have an immediate impact on the overall cost of device fabrication since these new conducting polymers can be readily introduced into current manufacturing protocols in place of existing difficult-to-process, and hence high cost, materials. The lower cost of solution processing will have a significant impact on the overall cost of device fabrication resulting in significant savings for device manufacturers who are constantly striving to reduce manufacturing costs while providing order of magnitude improvements in performance for next generation devices. The use of these conducting polymers will extend beyond transparent electrodes to hole conducting layers in photovoltaic cells. This work will lead to potentially new synthetic strategies for a variety of conducting polymers with tunable solubility for reduced capital cost of fabrication and ease of processing. The benefits of these new conducting polymer films will impact device fabrication in flexible displays, photovoltaic devices and any electro-optic devices requiring both high transparency in the visible/near infrared and high conductivity. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will provide a low cost alternative for transparent conducting materials such as Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) and the currently used polymeric material, PEDOT:PSS. Both materials have limitations in processing and, hence, have not become widely adopted for the next generation consumer electronics. This new polymer under developed in this project has superior properties, lower production and manufacturing costs and will transform the way electronic displays, touch screens, organic lighting, and thin film solar devices are produced. This new material is estimated to provide a 50% cost savings over existing materials (ITO and PEDOT:PSS) while offering a polymer that can be customized for multiple applications.