Solvay and Georgia Tech Ink Deal on OLED Research

The Georgia Institute of Technology's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE) and Solvay announced a $3 million deal for OLED research today.

Solvay, an international chemical and pharmaceutical group headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, with units in more than 50 countries and a strong presence in Georgia, has signed a three-year commitment with Georgia Tech to fund research in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).

"Solvay's partnership represents a substantial investment in Georgia Tech and signifies the company's confidence in Tech's ability to provide end-to-end resources encompassing modeling, synthesis, fabrication and testing," said Seth Marder, director of COPE.

Solvay's commitment to Tech will help fund research in OLEDs, thin-films of organic molecules that give off light when electricity is applied. OLEDs could be used in everything from television and computer monitors to household lighting to handheld computing devices, such as iPods and personal digital assistants.

COPE has already developed a unique material platform for OLEDs that may be deposited over large areas by ink-jet printing and patterned using standard photolithography. Tech researchers have found that exposing the material to ultraviolet light leads to hardened materials that are insoluble and maintain stability under high temperatures. This allows researchers to build a multi-layered solid-state device from liquid materials.

The partnership further strengthens the company's solid presence in Georgia, with offices of Solvay Advanced Polymers in Alpharetta and Solvay Pharmaceuticals in Marietta. For Tech, the partnership enhances its already strong international presence and reputation and adds an outlet for successful technology transfer and commercialization of research.

COPE, through the research group of Jean-Luc Bredas, already conducts research activities with the University of Mons-Hainaut in Belgium. Georgia Tech has two international campuses, Georgia Tech Lorraine in Metz, France, and Georgia Tech Singapore.

"Because Georgia Tech is an institution that is continuing to grow its reputation as a global player, this partnership helps that effort by strengthening the name recognition in the capital of Europe," said Bredas, professor at COPE and Tech's School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar.

In addition to Marder and Bredas, two other principals at COPE are Bernard Kippelen, associate director of COPE and professor in Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Marcus Weck, associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Léopold Demiddeleer, director of Solvay Corporate R&D and New Business Development, commented: "The New Business Development division of the Solvay Group was looking worldwide to build a strong knowledge and innovation base in advanced materials for organic electronics. COPE was right on target, at the right time and at the right location for us. This winning partnership will take advantage of the world-class expertise of COPE and the industrial potential of Solvay in this highly challenging field. I consider this as the first critical step of a major long-term program for the company. Let's get started!"

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