In December 2010, Dr. Ei-ichi Negishi (winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University) accepted an invitation to join Sony as Executive Research Advisor for R&D in the field of materials and component devices, specifically in the area of organic electronics.
Since January 2011, Dr. Negishi has maintained a busy schedule in visiting various organic electronics-related R&D entities---both in Japan and overseas---surveying and discussing with engineers their respective research results. Dr. Negishi has not only offered his frank opinions of current Sony research, but has also provided thought-provoking advice from a broad perspective via roundtable discussions with young employees and lectures targeting Sony engineers on topics related not only to organic electronics but research approaches and methodologies as well.
In marking the start of Dr. Negishi's role at Sony as Executive Research Advisor for R&D in the field of materials and component devices, this article highlights a discussion between Dr. Negishi and Dr. Osamu Kumagai, Sony Senior Vice President, President of the Core Device Development Group and President of Advanced Materials Laboratories. During the discussion, Dr. Kumagai asked Dr. Negishi about his research approach and his aspirations for Sony.
The palladium-catalyzed cross couplings used in organic synthesis resulting from the research done by Dr. Negishi, Professor Emeritus Akira Suzuki at Hokkaido University, and Professor Emeritus Richard F. Peck at University of Delaware employ palladium (Pd) as a catalyst for effectively and selectively coupling carbons (C). In organic synthesis that requires complex synthesis processes, it is widely used throughout the world as a technology that dramatically enhances reactivity, and is contributing to progress in various industries, from pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals to plastics and liquid crystals.
Sony's initiatives in the area of organic electronics R&D
Organic electronics-related R&D is carried out at the Advanced Materials Laboratories, which handle fundamental research in the field of materials and devices, and the Core Device Development Group, which engages in more practical development work on next-generation component devices and systems. R&D work covers organic semiconductors, graphene, carbon nanotube electrodes, dye-sensitized solar cells that use organic dyes to generate electricity, organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays and organic TFT-driven flexible OLED displays. Organic materials are attractive because they can be dissolved into inks. As the technology evolves further in the future, it should be possible to use them in low-cost manufacturing of large-area devices through printing. Cross coupling reactions are frequently used in synthesizing the organic molecules on which device performance depends.