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UC Receives US Patent Approval for Digital Technology

UC receives US Patent Office approval for cutting-edge digital technology

August 9, 2013

The University of Canterbury (UC) has received a patent for a transistor technology for use in flat screen television sets, computer tablets and mobile phones.

UC researchers have developed a new thin film transistor which has the potential to operate at higher speeds to support high refresh rate displays, large area and three dimensional displays and with lower power consumption. 

Adjunct professor Bill Swallow says the technology could have a major impact on touch screen displays, improving sensitivity and brightness while, at the same time, being straightforward to integrate into existing manufacturing lines.

``Flat screen displays are now almost everywhere with an estimated one billion sales of smart phones in 2013, 203 million LCD TVs in 2012 and rapidly rising sales of tablets - 49 million in the first quarter of this year.

``Our project, in collaboration with the MacDiarmid Institute, has received $300,000 from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Pre-Seed Accelerator Fund via KiwiNet to develop the technology to investor-ready status and facilitate subsequent licensing to major flat screen display backplane manufacturers.’’ 

Andrew Turnbull, Chair of the KiwiNet Investment Committee, says the development of the transistor was an example of the significant commercial potential in world-leading research carried out in New Zealand.

``KiwiNet was delighted to be a part of this project. We were happy to help with the funding and to ensure the right experts and experience were brought together to work on the technology so it could be developed  quickly to maximise the benefit for New Zealand.”

The technology and patent has been formally allowed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Professor Swallow says they want to licence the technology to interested businesses and alert the business world in general to the potential of the invention.


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