Solvay makes another solid investment in flexible electronics


Plastics and chemicals supplier Solvay, already the largest minority shareholder in Plextronics, a printed electronics company, has invested another €10 million ($14.5 million) in that company. Solvay says the financing will support the acceleration of Plextronics' technology development and delivery of its products to customers.

In 2007 Solvay invested $10 million in Plextronics (Pittsburgh, PA), which is a spin-off based on research from nearby Carnegie-Mellon University. Solvay also has invested in other companies active in the printed electronics' field.

Printed electronics is a rapidly developing field that almost certainly will open new applications for plastics processors. It makes use of existing printing technologies to manufacture, on an industrial scale, electronic devices beyond the standard molded or formed shapes currently available; a sheet of flexible plastic on which a day's newspaper is printed could be one example. Organic materials "printed" onto the substrate make this possible. Plextronics specializes in polymer-based materials and technologies for applications of printed electronics in organic light emitting diodes (OLED), specifically the conductive inks and process technologies that enable those and other similar applications. In May 2011 Plextronics announced it signed an OLED lighting distribution agreement with Sanyo Chemical Industries Ltd. Under the terms of the agreement, Sanyo will distribute select Plexcore OC inks developed specifically for use in OLED lighting applications in the Japanese market.
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