ONAMI Gap Award includes Amorphyx

The Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) has awarded Dr. Douglas Keszler, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Oregon State University and Director of the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry (CSMC), a $250k Gap grant for commercialization of research into a revolutionary device and material system that redefines the cost and performance of displays for devices ranging from smartphones and tablets to large-format flat-panel TVs.  Amorphyx has been chosen as the commercialization partner for the Gap program and will work with Dr. William Cowell of CSMC in execution of the program.  Dr. Cowell, also a co-founder of Amorphyx, recently completed his doctoral work at OSU under Dr. John Wager, the Michael and Judity Gaulke Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at OSU.  

Cowell's doctoral work on the application of amorphous metals to electronic devices identified a material system that enables a non-semiconductor MIM thin-film diode to replace the semiconductor thin-film transistor technologies used in display backplanes.  These TFT-based backplanes are the critical drivers in the performance limitations and cost challenges in displays for consumer electronics devices.  ONAMI's Gap funds are supporting CSMC and Amorphyx in the refinement of TFD performance for LCD and OLED display applications as well as definition of manufacturing processes for TFD-LCD and TFD-OLED backplanes using chemical vapor deposition techniques and equipment standard for the display industry.

About Amorphyx

Amorphyx revolutionizes the manufacture of liquid crystal-based (LED, LCD) and organic LED (OLED) flat panel display (FPD) backplanes by eliminating the semiconductor content in the backplane switching device.  The company's initial product utilizes existing FPD backplane manufacturing equipment for smartphones, laptops, tablets, monitors and television displays.  It dramatically simplifies the backplane manufacturing process, replacing thin-film transistor (TFT) switches by enabling the manufacture of thin-film tunneling diode (TFD) switches.  In addition to eliminating the semiconductor content in backplanes - the source of all issues in backplane performance and production - the TFD reduces the number of lithography steps necessary to produce a display backplane by more than 50%.  The company is currently based on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis, OR and utilizes the facilites of the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute, a partnership between OSU and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA.


ONAMI is Oregon's first Signature Research Center.  A deep collaboration among Oregon universities, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, industry, and the investment community, ONAMI accelerates research and commercialization of materials science and related device and system technologies in Oregon.  Since 2004, awards to our research members have grown four-fold, the number of companies using ONAMI's NanoNet facilities have grown three-fold, and companies in our Gap Fund portfolio have raised over $102M in leveraged funds.

About CSMC

The Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry is an NSF-funded Phase II Center for Chemical Innovation.  Our mission is to conduct curiosity-driven and use-inspired research to enhance the sustainable chemistry toolbox with new methods and new techniques that will advance the scientific enterprise and transform the next generation of products, while preparing students to become the next generation of green chemists.  Research in the Center is focused on three integrated thrusts encompassing the synthesis and study of solution-based film precursors, investigation of these precursors in unique film chemistries, and application of results from precursor and film studies to the fabrication of high-performance electronic devices.  We study the fundamental chemistry of nanocluster synthesis; the transformation of these nanoclusters to solid films; interdiffusion, nucleation, and crystallization in films and nanolaminates; directed self-assembly in nanolaminates and related systems; and the conditions necessary to realize high-performance vertical-transport transistors. In addition, we work collaboratively with industry on a variety of related, directed projects.