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Advanced Materials Competition Finalist: SolOLED

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Date: 22 April, 2022

INAM, the Innovation Network for Advanced Materials announces SolOLED as an ADMACOM 2022 finalist. Alongside 11 other startups, Sol-OLED joins the 8th edition of the Advanced Materials accelerator program, ADMACOM. SolOLED's one pager follows:

SolOLED has developed next generation emitters for use in solution processed OLED displays. Solution processing is a cheaper, more efficient, and more sustainable method of manufacturing large OLED displays.

What is new and innovative?

SolOLED develops emitter materials that are optimised for use in solution-processed OLEDs. By avoiding the use of scarce, expensive metals like iridium that are central to phosphorescent emitters used in commercialized OLEDs, SolOLED’s organic materials are cost effective and sustainable. We have developed a family of high-performance emitters across the visible light spectrum.

What knowledge/complementary technology are you looking for as an additional support for your company?

SolOLED is seeking assistance for the development of an automated, high-throughput materials testing platform to accelerate technical development and improvement of TRL of our technology. Automation of thin-film formulation, preparation and characterisation will enable rapid screening of newly developed materials to optimise the emission properties for use in prototype solution-processable organic light-emitting diodes (SP-OLEDs). SolOLED is also seeking expertise in the development of ML tools and models to accelerate the materials development pipeline.

Materials Used:

Design of new emitter materials is guided by computational modelling. New emitters are obtained following a multi-step synthesis and purification protocol. The materials are characterized and the lead materials meeting predefined specifications are then used to make prototype SP-OLEDs.

Technical Challenges:

To be commercialized, SP-OLEDs must show high efficiency, high color purity and long lifetime. We have already used our new materials to produce prototype green-emitting SP-OLEDs with excellent efficiency (EQE ~ 28%), a value that rivals commercial devices. We are actively working to address both the color point of the SP-OLEDs that use our materials as well as the device stability, which is the major requirement identified by panel makers.

For the above-mentioned challenge(s), what are the technological fundamental questions that you would like to see answered in collaborations with other INAM industrial/academic partners?

We would like to work with INAM partners to develop a platform that permits the automation of thin film preparation and characterization as well as integrate ML algorithms into all facets of the materials discovery platform in order to accelerate materials discovery. We would also like to improve our fabrication methods to improve the device lifetime of OLEDs made using our emitter materials.

Do you need/foresee the need for additional testing/validation techniques in the future? If so, have you identified them? How can we help?

An important parameter to improve in our prototype SP-OLEDs is the lifetime of the devices, which is a key metric of assessment for our customers. Testing the lifetime of OLEDs requires specialized equipment that is not available in most academic OLED research labs. SolOLED would benefit from being introduced to industrial partners that are able to perform lifetime testing services or access to equipment for measuring OLED lifetimes.

Have you considered different scale-up alternatives for your product? Where do you foresee the biggest challenge for scale-up?

Scaling up the synthesis to a kilogram scale (or larger) for commercial sales will be a challenge that will require process chemistry and chemical engineering expertise. We plan to use an external contract manufacturer to perform the scale-up of the synthesis of our materials and begin manufacturing the materials for commercial sales.

What are your expectations for the AdMaCom program?

We would like to work with INAM partners that are able to assist us in automating our materials formulation, characterization, and analysis, as well as building a ML model to guide materials design. We would also benefit from introductions to potential investors that the INAM network can provide as we seek seed funding.

IP Ownership:

The University of St Andrews, upon spinning out, Sol-OLED will obtain an exclusive license for the IP from the University.


About INAM

INAM, the Innovation Network for Advanced Materials, is a global network of companies and research institutes in the field of Advanced Materials. INAM’s goal is to enable the right connections and make technological innovations become reality by working closely with startups, SMEs, corporations, investors, and research institutes to start, grow and transform the development of Advanced Materials.

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