Sol-Gel Electrochromic devices
NTera is developing an electrochromic display technology called NanoChromics™ using nanostructured film electrodes. The nanostructured films are derived from sol-gel precursors and formulated to suit the particular coating application method. Current applications focus in flat panel displays, medical diagnostic sensors and targeted drug delivery. In addition, NTera plan to extend the technology into batteries and solar cells.
Electrochromic materials change colour when they gain or lose an electron when subject to an electrical potential. Earlier attempts to use electrochromic effects in display applications suffered from very long switching times and weak colouration. NanoChromics™ technology uses electrodes made of nano-structured films of semi-conducting metal oxides and electrochromic viologen molecules to overcome these issues. These transparent films have enormous surface area which means that up to 1000 times as many viologen molecules can be attached to the film as would be possible with a smooth surface and that all the viologen molecules can have an electron added or removed very quickly. The high number of viologen molecules attached gives strong colouration (Contrast ratios of up to 30:1) and the high speed of electron transfer gives high switching speeds. Between the electrodes is a reflector made of a nano-structured film of Titanium Dioxide. This is the same chemical used to make paper white and therefore gives a solid and highly reflective white background to our display. The coloured viologens in front of this reflective background have the appearance of ink thus giving the visual effect of ink on paper when the viologens are coloured, and of pure white paper when the viologens are bleached. Different colours can be achieved through using different viologen molecules.The technology is being developed by a world class research team and is available for co-development/licencing opportunities.
NTera was founded in 1997 as a University College Dublin campus company to develop and commercialise products using nanomaterials. Originally called Nanomat, NTera was founded by Donald Fitzmaurice, now the Chief Technology Officer, who is the Professor of Nanochemistry at UCD.
For more information : http://www.ntera.com/