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Project Activities

The Centre seeks to conduct basic research relevant to a globally competitive display industry. Centre is carrying out sponsored research on Organic Light Emitting Displays and Plasma Displays. In addition, there are several projects that explore the basic science and develop major technology platforms relevant to the current and future needs of display industry. Projects are funded through DST, MCIT and CSIR. Founder partner, Samtel Industries, remains the major sponsor of projects sharing cost with the government agencies.

1) PLED/OLED Development
Looking at the international scenario of developing flat panel technologies today, the Centre decided to take up Development of 'Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED)' as its first major project (2002-2005) costing more than Rupees three Crores funded equally by DST and Samtel Industries. Successful completion of the project has led to the setting of a Prototype Development Unit (PDU) for passive matrix displays suitable for mobile phones. Many of the polymers and small molecules used for device fabrication are being synthesized at the centre. The Centre has developed all unit processes required for fabricating a variety of OLED structures for purposes of optimization and model validation. The performance standards in terms of brightness and threshold voltage are comparable to International standards. A new family of polymers based on Arylenevinylenes-co-pyrrolenevinylenes derived from divinylaryl bridged bispyrroles for electroluminescent and organic applications. To take advantage of the designer properties several strategies for blending with polycarbazole has also been developed and tested with fabrication of devices. The group has traced transformations from molecules (bispyrroles) to oligomers, and thin films to devices to reveal the comparative logic of inclusion of bridging groups, and hence their role in tailoring the optoelectronic properties of materials derived from bispyrroles.

2) Development of MgO and novel dielectric coatings for Flat Panel Plasma Displays
Thin films of magnesium oxide play a crucial role in the development of plasma display panels (PDP). A project costing about Rs. 1.8 Crore has been sponsored by Ministry of Communication and Information Technology for joint development at IIT and Samtel Industries. Another project has been sponsored under the New Millennium Initiative of the CSIR to develop next generation High Definition Plasma Display Panels. SCDT is spearheading the development of high secondary electron emission dielectric materials for the project (Rs. 1.32 Crore). SCDT has developed magnetron sputtering process for the deposition of MgO films. A secondary electron emission measurement system has been developed to characterize the dielectric coatings under environment similar to the PDPs.

3) Printable Electronics
The NSTI funded interdisciplinary proposal to setup a "Centre for Nanotechnology" at IIT Kanpur was formulated to carry out, in its first phase, technology development in the following three inter-related areas: (i) Development of Printable Organic Electronics with Organic-RFID tags as the first demonstrator prototype, (ii) Nano and meso-scale patterning based technologies of polymers with applications in fluidics, sensors and manufacturing of programmable structures, and (iii) Development of a versatile focused ion beam tool based on microwave plasma ion beam for applications in patterning and templating of soft-materials and substrates. The Project has been initiated in January 2007 to a current outlay of 11.5 Crores for a period of 5-years.

4) Simulation & Display Electronics
Organic light emitting diode based displays can be fabricated either as passive matrix panels consisting of only OLEDs or Active matrix panels in which the OLED is integrated with thin film transistors (TFT) in a suitable manner. An analysis of problems in passive matrix displays has been carried out including dynamic response time and crosstalk, and modified pixel circuits for improved performance proposed along with design rules.

5) Organic Solar Cells
Optimization of materials and structures for efficient solar cells has been started. Solar cells based on small molecules (CuPC, C60 etc) as well as polymers (P3HT, PCBM etc) are being developed.. Swiss National Science Foundation has sponsored a project on flexible solar cells in collaboration with ETH Zurich (Swiss Fr 370,000). Another project on the fabrication of thin film organic solar cells has been sponsored by the DST under Young Scientists Scheme (Rs. 15 lakhs).

6) OTFT, UV Emitters & Sensors
In addition to OLEDs, the centre is also involved in major advancements in the area of organic photoelectronics as a whole with focus on organic thin film transistors (OTFT), UV emitters and sensors. Thin film transistors based on pentacene and P3OT have been developed. The channel current measured in these devices is very encouraging and demonstrate their potential use in organic electronic circuits. Polysilane based UV emitters have been developed. This work has led to a patent on UV and white light OLEDs. Significant understanding of principles of molecular design which may help UV degradation resistant has been carried out leading to a Ph.D. thesis. Polymer-based chemical sensors is a new area taken up by the Center. Studies are being initiated on microfluidic chemical sensors, where microchannels in the polymer serve as microreactors, and OTFTs would be used to transduce the specific chemical reactions to quantifiable electrical readouts. Studies, such as those on surface modifications, surface characterizations, microflows, would be used to optimize the device performance.

7) Prototype Development A Unique Experiment
The Centre has begun a unique experiment of locating a knowledge-intensive prototype development unit (PDU) within the Centre with industry participation. The development of a prototype for small size display based on OLED has been initiated jointly with Samtel and Department of Science & Technology (DST). The PDU team dedicated to fabrication and development of full-color (RGB) organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays specifically for mobile applications. PDU consists of 6 dedicated members - 5 Research Engineers appointed by Samtel and 1 project employee. Graduate students and faculty from SCDT also participate in various research activities and discussions with the PDU members. Since its inception in May 2006 the PDU have taken healthy strides in coming up with a working prototype within the set deadline. So the team has successfully fabricated the three basic colors - Red, Green and Blue in large pixels. Device efficiency of 14 cd/A (Green), 7 cd/A (Blue) and 3cd/A (Red) with brightness of more than 10,000 cd/m2 have been achieved so far. These numbers are very close to the industrial standards. The Doosan cluster tool for fabrication of OLEDs was installed in mid-2006 and devices are now regularly fabricated. The automation for device characterization has been done. Ancillary units like device encapsulation system, lifetime measurement setup are also in place. The image transferring software to transfer images in the display are ready and debugging is in progress. The total project cost is Rs. 15.75 Crore, shared by DST and Samtel Industries for a period of three years.

 

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