The project concerned a novel electrochromic technology based on transparent nanostructured metal oxide films modified by redox chromophores that had been developed in the course of a recently completed Joule II project in nanocrystalline solar cells. The objective was to develop and transfer the technology to two European companies with the capacity to exploit it, namely Pricer AB for programmable shelf edge labelling and Donnelly Mirrors for an electrochromic rear-view mirror.
For the mirrors application a working laboratory scale prototype was produced and demonstrated. But Donnelly (which is a subsidiary of Donnelly Corporation, a major US company) is already strong in conventional dimmable mirrors based on their proprietory electrochromic technology and decided not to take the nanochrome application further now (because of the capital investment costs), and for the time being will stay with their proprietory technology.
For shelf-edge displays the applications work was dependent on Pricer's input to the development of display driver software. But this part of the project was compromised when Pricer experienced trading difficulties and had to refocus its business away from this area of interest. As a consequence of this the labelling application was not taken through to implementation.
NTera (formerly Nanomat) has gone on to develop other applications of their proprietory nanochromic materials (including displays) which now account for about one third of their effort. In the displays context Ntera has demonstrated its prototype capability to produce flat panel 'printed paper quality displays'. Other interests include batteries and sensors, which together account for another third of their effort. The remainder is devoted to IPR management. Extensive license agreements have been drawn up with major global companies.