AUSTIN, Texas—The W.M. Keck Foundation has awarded The University of Texas at Austin $800,000 to create a “cleanroom” for research in the emerging science of plastic electronics.
The funds will be used to buy equipment for the new facility and to support post-doctoral and graduate students in interdisciplinary research.
Plastic electronics is expected to generate solutions for society’s greatest technological challenges, including new products in the areas of solar energy, medicine and defense, according to Dr. Lynn Loo, principal investigator and assistant professor of chemical engineering. Loo said plastic electronics already have given rise to the recently commercialized organic electroluminescent flat panel display.
“We are very grateful for the Keck Foundation’s support of this organic cleanroom, which will greatly advance knowledge in an emerging field that has great potential to benefit society,” said Juan Sanchez, vice president for research at the university.
Loo and Dr. Paul Barbara, professor of chemistry and director of the university’s Center for Nano- and Molecular Science and Technology, are leaders of the project.
The University of Texas at Austin is preparing to construct an extension on the existing Experimental Science Building to accommodate the center, where the new Keck cleanroom will be located.
Based in Los Angeles, the W.M. Keck Foundation is one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations. Established in 1954 by the late William Myron Keck, founder of The Superior Oil Company, the foundation’s grant making focuses on medical research, science and engineering.