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RCT Invests in Extreme Photonix LLC


Tucson, AZ – Aug 23, 2001

Through its Photonics Investment Initiative, Research Corporation Technologies (RCT) is providing early-stage funding and business support to Extreme Photonix LLC, a high-technology spinoff from the Nanoelectronics Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati (UC). Extreme Photonix is developing new semiconductor technology that could bring major improvements to flat-panel displays (FPD) for computers, personal digital assistants and high-definition television.

Led by Andrew J. Steckl, Ph.D., Ohio Eminent Scholar and Gieringer Professor of Solid State Microelectronics at UC, Extreme Photonix will be headquartered initially at the BioStart incubator facility on the UC Medical Campus. This location gives the company access to UC laboratories and to the incubator’s many support services. Extreme Photonix has licensed its core technology through the UC Intellectual Property Office. The license gives the company exclusive rights to recently issued U.S. Patent No. 6,255,669 and several pending patent applications. (Click here for the UC new release about our investment in Extreme Photonix.)

Rare earth-doped materials, known widely for their photonic properties, are ideal for full-color displays and optical amplification. Extreme Photonix is rapidly advancing the use of the wide bandgap semiconductor host, gallium nitride (GaN), with luminescent rare earth ions. This powerful combination allows for high-performance electroluminescent sources that emit bright and spectrally pure primary colors for full-color displays.

The all-solid-state devices being developed by Extreme Photonix can yield a much more robust flat-panel display than current technologies such as liquid crystal displays, which encapsulate a liquid, and plasma displays, which use a gas in an evacuated chamber. Extreme Photonix aims to exploit the structural simplicity of electroluminescent devices in comparison to complicated, bulky and costly cathodluminescent and photoluminescent devices. In addition, the simplicity of the deposition processes and the device structure for this technology platform suggest considerable profit margins in the FPD market.

“Our rare earth-doped gallium nitride display devices can generate all primary and mixed colors and are brighter with a wider field of view than is currently possible with active matrix LCD technology,” said Steckl. “Displays made of this material are rugged, temperature independent and can be viewed outdoors under ambient light conditions.”

The RCT investment will help the company demonstrate the technology’s application in more compelling matrix array display formats. Extreme Photonix plans to produce a full-color, moving-image flat-panel display prototype. Along with its investment, RCT is also providing management support and actively recruiting additional funding for the company.

“Several inherent factors make this an appealing investment,” said Eugene R. Cochran, Ph.D., director of RCT’s Photonics Investment Initiative. “RCT looks for breakthrough technology and we think this fits the description. The semiconductor material is very robust and is an ideal host for the rare earth ions. The entire process lends itself to a variety of manufacturing techniques.”

Along with the flat-panel display applications, Extreme Photonix is concurrently exploring the use of its technology for waveguide-amplification components in telecommunications.


Andrew J. Steckl, Ph.D., Extreme Photonix, President, (513) 556-4777, (513) 221-1891 fax

Eugene Cochran, Ph.D., RCT, Director, Commercialization, (520) 748-4461, (520) 748-0025 fax

Richard Kordal, Ph.D., Director, UC Intellectual Property Office, (513) 556-4724, (513) 558-2296 fax