SmartKem and Nanosys enter into joint development agreement


SmartKem, Inc. (Manchester, UK), a company seeking to reshape the world of electronics with a revolutionary new organic semiconductor platform that enables a new generation of displays, and Nanosys, Inc. (Silicon Valley, California), a leader in developing and delivering quantum dot and microLED technology, have entered into a joint development agreement to work together on a new generation of low-cost solution printed microLED and quantum dot materials for advanced displays.

Both companies believe that combining fully solution printed displays using SmartKem’s high performance organic semiconductor formulations with TFT interlayer materials using Nanosys’s microLED and quantum dot nanoLED technologies should result in the creation of a new class of low power, robust, flexible, lightweight displays. Initial validation work on the equipment, processes and materials readiness has already occurred.

Commenting on the announcement, Ross Young, Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) CEO, notes: “There are significant synergies between these two companies and their joint development work has the potential to accelerate commercialisation opportunity for both companies.”

Ian Jenks, chairman and CEO of SmartKem, said: “We have been working on the latest generation organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) technology for many years and have validated its readiness and availability for enabling the manufacturing of displays using advanced emitters such as microLEDs and quantum dot nanoLEDs from Nanosys.”

“We are delighted to work with SmartKem on this novel backplane technology for displays. We believe that display makers are eager to utilise microLEDs and quantum dot nanoLED materials for new display applications in a high-throughput and cost-efficient manner. If our joint development work is successful, will have access to a holistic technology solution that meets their needs,” said Jason Hartlove, CEO and president of Nanosys.

The joint development agreement contemplates that through the application of its unique TRUFLEX technology, SmartKem will provide OTFT backplanes to enable the manufacture of microLED displays using Nanosys’ microLED and electroluminescent quantum dot nanoLED technologies. TRUFLEX materials have been developed for standard process equipment sets and have the benefit of both lower material and equipment costs than traditional alternatives such as LTPS. SmartKem believes that this makes high performance and stable display backplane technology accessible to manufacturers at a lower capital cost compared to inorganic TFT technology.

Caption: SmartKem’s TRUFLEX technology and Nanosys’ microLED and nanoLED technologies are going to be combined thanks to a joint development agreement (graphic: SmartKem)

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