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FlexEnable and Merck demonstrate major step forward in plastic LCD technology

The world's first demonstration of a plastic LCD with organic transistor active-matrix in-plane switching (IPS)

11 Feb 2015 | Editor

FlexEnable and Merck have announced that the joint project the two companies are partnering in has reached an important next stage in plastic LCD technology. More specifically, a plastic LCD has been developed using organic transistors on a plastic sheet has the backplane.

The demonstrator was developed in a very short timeframe, and combines the key benefits of organic transistor technology (OTFT). Ultimately, it offers a route to low-cost solutions for volume manufacturing with LCDs, the current dominant display technology in the market today.

According to FlexEnable they have now demonstrated the world’s first plastic LCD with active-matrix in-plane switching (IPS). It uses FlexEnable’s OTFT array as well as liquid crystal (LC) and organic semiconductor materials from Merck. While the first demonstrator employs an IPS mode, this concept will be equally attractive for many other LC modes and applications such as e-readers, dynamic public signage and advertising.

FlexEnable/Merck -  All plastic LCD with OTFT active-matrix in-plane switching (IPS)

FlexEnable/Merck -  All plastic LCD with OTFT active-matrix in-plane switching (IPS)

Figure: FlexEnable/Merck - All plastic LCD with OTFT active-matrix in-plane switching (IPS)

In addition to Merck and FlexEnable, other project partners who worked on this achievement include display technology experts from the Institute for Large Area Microelectronics at the University of Stuttgart (Germany), plastic film supplier LOFO High Tech Film, (Germany), specialised resist supplier micro resist technology, (Germany), and backlight supplier Etkes and Sons (Israel); co-funded by the seventh Framework Program of the European Union.

Indro Mukerjee, Chairman of FlexEnable, said, "I congratulate the FlexEnable team and partners for demonstrating another example of how mature and advanced our transistor platform is. To achieve this within just months rather than years is a testament to the depth of understanding and IP we have across our toolkit of industrially proven processes. Plastic LCDs bring clear benefits where weight and thickness is key – including volume consumer and industrial markets. It also offers a route to simpler, lower cost device stacks for display makers."
Inese Lowenstein, Head of Merck’s Display Materials business unit., said, "We are very happy about this step forward as it clearly shows the enormous innovation potential the LC technology holds for us to explore." Inese added, "It also shows that plastic-based bendable or even flexible displays are not a dream, but a true possibility and encourages us to develop new LC modes especially for this application. Now we can also imagine how the size of LC displays can grow even further, by making them lightweight, transportable and unbreakable."

www.merck.de    www.flexenable.com   


About Flexenable

FlexEnable, based in Cambridge, UK, has developed the world’s first flexible transistor technology platform; the key to truly flexible and cost effective electronics over large and small surfaces. With over a decade of experience, IP development and technology awards, FlexEnable works together with customers to drive innovation across flexible sensors, smart systems and video-rate displays.

FlexEnable’s technology platform enables new mobile and wearable products as well as sensor arrays and structural electronics that bring an extra dimension to the IoT (Internet of Things). Customers include OEMs, component manufacturers and materials suppliers.

Source: Flexenable


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