US based AJJER LLC is developing ultra low power electrochromic displays and indicators operating at less than 2.4 volts and within a range of 1 to 5 mW. The displays can be fully printed, and consist of three layers including the conductive layers. Electrochromic displays are non emissive, allowing them to be read easily in bright light and providing wide viewing angles.
Speaking to IDTechEx, Dr Agrawal, formerly from Donnelly Corporation, described breakthroughs in the lifetime stability of their displays. Electrochromic displays can have limited lifetime stability due to the change in the electrolyte composition due to diffusion and evaporation. Dr Agrawal said that AJJER overcomes this problem by using several materials including nano particles so the performance is more consistent. Dr Agrawal expects that their displays will be stable for several years if the application demands it.
The company is focusing on developing monochrome displays initially, with versions which are bi stable (power is only needed to change the display) being stable for months; to a single switch version which once changed will not change back again, useful for threshold and warning indicators, for example.
The team is experienced in several areas of materials synthesis, wet chemical deposition, ceramics and metal oxide coatings, electrochemistry, polymer chemistry, pilot activity, application development and commercialization. AJJER's principals are also part of a venture formed by licensing technology from Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is in the process of commercializing other EC products.
Electrochromic displays are potentially the cheapest of all printed digital display technologies, giving them an opportunity to be sold in high volumes by going into places where one would not normally expect to see digital displays. In 2003, Marks & Spencer in the UK sold a Valentines gift card with a screen printed electrochromic display which helped to merchandise the product. More recently, PolyIC has demonstrated a printed RF label with an electrochromic display which changes when held near an RF interrogator, useful potentially as an anti counterfeiting feature or marketing tool. Dr Agrawal and his team are focused on fully printed displays on low cost packaging material substrates and expect to open up many new applications.
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Dr Agrawal will present the company's technology at the IDTechEx Printed Electronics USA 2008 event in San Jose, CA on December 3-4.