Last week Light Polymers Inc., a San Francisco based Nanochemistry company announced it had closed Series A funding with an investment of $24.3 million. The Series A investment was led by a consortium of private investors and the funds are to be used for R&D expansion, commercialization of its OLED display chemistry, and a planned acquisition. The company is leading the way in water-based chemistry that will have an impact on a wide variety of industries.
PR Newswire caught up with Light Polymers’ president and CEO Marc McConnaughey shortly after the announcement. He had this to say, “Light Polymers' chemistry is on the leading edge of materials for flexible and foldable OLED displays. With this Series A round of funding, we will be able to scale up the chemistry and film production for our breakthrough 35 micron-thin OLED circular polarizer solution and eventually reach under 10 microns for wearables, smartphones, tablets and eventually notebook, monitors and HDTV's.”
Now, before we dig into Light Polymers a bit deeper, let’s put that previous statement in perspective. Today’s most popular cell phone, the iPhone 7 has a roughly 0.12inch thick display. The average human hair reaches a thickness of 0.003 inches or 75 microns. 35 and 10 micron displays will be so light you’ll be able to use a sheet of paper to weigh them down. Tech giant LG has already begun using OLED displays in its high-end televisions and the demand for such displays in the $140 billion flat panel display industry is only going to increase.
Image courtesy of LG Electronics Hungary Kft
Research on the polymers and other materials used in LP’s ground-breaking OLED displays began in 2006, culminating in the founding of Light Polymers in 2013. Currently the company boasts an R&D center in Silicon Valley and an applications center in Taiwan. Simply put(haha), Light Polymers is an advanced polymers and materials company. They focus on the use of Iyotropic liquid crystals to improve light efficiency in flat panel displays and LED lights; creating advanced building materials such as concrete admixtures; and the use of Nanochemistry in the biomedical field.
A new report on the Nanochemistry Market predicts a global market value of 177.6 billion dollars by 2019. With LP’s OLED chemistry already in trial stages and the number of potential commercialization partners growing, the startup is poised to be at the forefront of this revolutionary new technology. If all goes well, you may just be wearing one of their displays in a year or two. Regardless of how things play out, you can be certain that we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on the company as they progress.