Solvay to Jointly Develop Materials for Printed Electronic Devices

Solvay announces today that its subsidiary Solvay Solexis, a market leader providing high value-added specialty polymer products, and Thin Film Electronics ASA of Oslo, Norway, have entered into an agreement to develop materials for the production of printed electronic devices. The aim of the joint development program is to optimize ferroelectric polymer materials to enhance the manufacture and performance of Thin Film’s memory technology; and to develop appropriate ink formulations for printed electronics.

Printed electronics is a new, emerging industry that takes advantage of printing technologies to manufacture electronic devices with a wider variety of shapes and supports, including thin, flexible substrates. Through the use of proprietary technologies, these electronic circuits can be manufactured efficiently in traditional printing facilities at high volumes. This enables electronic functionality in a wealth of new products and applications. Examples include medical, educational and consumer goods: from singing gift cards to smart medical packaging, ‘live’ toys, cash cards and moving color pictures in electronic books.

Applications that were previously too expensive to produce are now possible, including interactive and animated advertising in the printed press, speech-enabled food packaging that warns the consumer when the use-by date has elapsed or museum tickets with embedded interactive information for visitors. Low-cost mobile Internet devices combined with a Global Positioning (GPS) tracking function are also feasible and could be implemented for life-size games or to keep track of children in large open spaces.

Johan Carlsson, CEO of Thin Film Electronics stated: “Solvay has the broadest range of high performance polymer products in the market. Their dedication and focus is on specialty polymers, fluorinated and non fluorinated. Solvay is an ideal partner for Thin Film, enabling us to speed up the commercialization of our technology. The collaboration with Solvay will result in materials tailored for different printing technologies used in high-volume applications of our memory technology. It also gives us a solid partner with the know-how and the resources needed for optimizing and enhancing ferroelectric polymers for memory implementations, both the printed and the hybrid Silicon-based. In addition, with this agreement we have secured a long term supply of polymer materials for large volumes, as and when our customers are ramping up volume production.”

“Our goal is to constantly search for new opportunities in high growth markets, and to continuously boost our competitiveness with technological innovation. The agreement with Thin Film will be an excellent opportunity for us to achieve our objectives, given Thin Film’s innovative technology and strong presence in the rapidly growing printed electronics market.” commented Vincenzo Morici, General Manager of the Specialty Polymers Strategic Business Unit, Solvay.

The joint development agreement will build on Thin Film’s intellectual property for soluble memory materials, as well as extend Solvay’ intellectual property for functional polymer materials. Under the agreement, Solvay Solexis could acquire certain production and commercialization rights to Thin Film’s memory technology.

Thin Film Electronics, an Oslo, Norway-based company with R&D facilities in Linkoping, Sweden, is the pioneer in the use of functional polymer materials for non-volatile memory applications. Dense functional memories have been demonstrated using both traditional processing for silicon-based chips and more recently printing. Thin Film delivers printed memory today and, with partners like Solvay, will deliver integrated printed electronics tomorrow. Thin Film Electronics ASA (Ticker: THIN) is listed on the OTC list at the Oslo stock exchange, Norway.

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