Nanotech firm makes paper and ink quality displays

15 Feb 2005

A Dublin-based nanotechnology firm has developed a display technology that makes images on computer, TV or mobile screens look exactly like ink on paper and act with the intelligence of an electronic display.

“Design studios, manufacturers, and engineers have faced the dull, gray LCD world for decades. At the same time, they have been reeling from the astronomical OLED production and wholesale costs,” said Nick How, president NTERA Limited.

“In contrast, we’re ‘fresh’, bright and white, yet cost-effective. NanoChromics technology purchase means instant product differentiation in a box.”

Made using proprietary nanostructured materials, NTera’s NanoChromics technology displays look like ink on paper and act with the intelligence of an electronic display. NanoChromics technology offers superb optical performance and is expected to be more cost-effective than existing LCD, OLED and other display technologies.

Paper white or translucent backgrounds give the NanoChromics displays four times the contrast and reflectivity of other display technologies. The NanoChromics technology bi-stability, 1vDC operation, and high reflectivity drive 10 times longer battery operation than existing display technologies.

Accordiing to NTera, NanoChromics displays are ideal for use in a wide range of consumer-facing and industrial applications. From home automation (e.g. thermostats) to intelligent appliances and white goods; electronic textbooks to test kits (e.g. pregnancy, diabetes); car navigation systems to airplane cockpits and industrial controls; consumer electronics to time pieces, e-billboards and shelf labels, each of the many applications takes advantage of unprecedented visual impact at low cost.

In May last year, NTera has secured US$9.5m in funding, bringing to US$30m the total raised by the company to date. The funding round was led by Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, with existing shareholders also participating in the round.

In the low-resolution display market (eg clocks, white goods, meters, instrumentation displays), Ntera both sells its products direct to end customers and has OEM agreements with several LCD manufacturers that are licensed to use it in their products. The company also said it plans to enter the high-resolution display market (eg notebooks, PDAs, e-readers, etc) and is talking to a number of strategic partners about gaining access to it.

By John Kennedy