Roger Diebold and Samuel Shian (above) working with David Clarke at the Harvard MRSEC have developed a new way to generate reflective color using electro-active polymer actuators that permit construction of a low-cost and low-energy display that is unusually vivid. MRSEC seed funding was critical to the fabrication of the initial prototype to imitate coloration changes found in cephalopod skin that has successfully attracted additional support from the NSF SBIR office. The result is a new startup company formed to commercialize this innovation, Solchroma Technologies whose goal is to disrupt the $12B domestic out-of-home advertising industry by addressing cost, energy, and regulatory concerns associated with LED-based large-area digital signage solutions. Solchroma is one of the first companies worldwide to leverage dielectric elastomers as a core technology, providing a pathway for other commercially-relevant advances in the field to be converted into products, with a commensurate impact on the economy.
Harvard MRSEC (DMR-1420570)