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Singapore moisture-resistant film research gets funding

Posted: 01 Sep 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Singapore research  solar cell  moisture-resistant film  flexible display 

Applied Venture LLC is investing in Tera-Barrier Films Pte Ltd, a new spin-off from the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*STAR) Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE). The funds will be used for the development and manufacture of a new proprietary, moisture-resistant film that can significantly extend the life span of devices such as organic solar cells and flexible displays.

Tera-Barrier was founded by two A*STAR IMRE's researchers, Mark Auch and Senthil Ramadas, who will serve as the company's CEO and chief technology officer, respectively. The ultra high barrier film technology was developed at IMRE and the barrier properties were validated by solar and flexible display manufacturers. Tera-Barrier is still closely linked to IMRE as it operates under a laboratory-in-a-research institute scheme, allowing research continuity and the uninterrupted development of the films. The new film protects the easily degraded moisture-sensitive organic materials of plastic devices and targets the burgeoning plastic electronics industry. Applications of the film include the manufacturing of flexible, lightweight and cheap electronics such as disposable or wrap-around displays, identification tags, low-cost solar cells and chemical- and pressure-sensitive sensors.

"This investment is in line with Applied Materials' strategy to spur development of a broad range of products that not only serve customers' needs, but conserve the Earth's natural resources, and make alternative energy and environmental solutions more accessible and affordable," said J. Christopher Moran, vice president and general manager of Applied Ventures. "We are pleased that our investment in Tera-Barrier will be used to support the commercialisation of this breakthrough technology to enable a new generation of advanced devices."

Tera-Barrier is a portfolio company of Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd, the marketing and commercialisation arm of A*STAR. Tera-Barrier has signed a licence agreement with Exploit to obtain the rights to develop and market products using the breakthrough flexible substrate technology.

Boon Swan Foo, executive chairman of Exploit said, "We are encouraged to have attracted such interest from Applied Materials, a global leader in the field of nanomanufacturing technology solutions. This is a strong endorsement of A*STAR IMRE's technology and of Tera-Barrier Films' long term development and marketing plans; especially so in the current economic climate, where corporate investments have slowed down significantly. We believe this investment will move Tera-Barrier Films in the right market direction."

"The investment by Applied Ventures enables Tera-Barrier to move forward with commercialisation plans

into the flexible solar cells and printed electronics market," Auch said. "Tera-Barrier is in the process of securing product qualification and sample orders and has strong subcontract partnerships in place for scalable production of high performance barrier films. We are excited to be able to bring to market a key enabling product that could help promote faster growth in our target markets."

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