LONDON Chemicals giant Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) and Plastic Logic GmbH (Dresden, Germany), the developer of the Que e-reader, have announced plans to develop, test and commercialize novel lisicon-type organic semiconductors from Merck in Plastic Logic's displays.
The introduction and production of the materials is planned for 2011. Having shown the Que e-reader at the Consumer Electronics Show in January Plastic Logic was originally expected to ship the e-reader in April 2010 but that launch has now slipped to June, it is reported.
Merck recently invested in the expansion of its Chilworth Technical Center chemicals research site in Southampton, England, by adding laboratories to intensify and accelerate display material developments based on plastic electronics.
As part of the cooperation Plastic Logic has also invested in additional manufacturing equipment to accelerate the introduction of Merck's lisicon materials into mass production.
Merck's functional materials are already used in the manufacturing process of the flexible "e-paper" displays used in the Que e-reader.
Lisicon materials will enable enhanced device performance and simplify Plastic Logic's manufacturing process for e-paper displays, the companies said. Lisicon materials are the generic name given to a range of lithium oxides with high ionic conductivity.
"Merck is delighted to support Plastic Logic as an innovative leader in next generation consumer devices containing paper-like displays," said Klaus Bofinger, senior vice president responsible for advanced technologies at Merck, in a statement. "With Merck's track record and experience in introducing new display technologies to the market we see the cooperation with Plastic Logic as a major step towards advancing plastic electronic displays."
Konrad Herre, managing director of Plastic Logic GmbH in Dresden, Germany, commented, "We are very pleased to announce this cooperation with Merck. This expansion of our joint efforts will enable us to develop higher performing future plastic electronics display technologies using simpler manufacturing processes."
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