Plastic Logic has long been associated with the development of flexible displays, but we have yet to see a successful commercial application of the technology so far. However, that is likely to change in the not too distant future, as the company has partnered with Novaled, that bills itself among the leaders in development of “organic electronic materials and technology for OLED applications.” The duo has lined up several technology demonstrators throughout 2014, which will start off with the launch of a fully organic and flexible AMOLED display during the Flextech Conference in Phoenix, AZ.
“Flexible electronics is a reality, already proven through the development and manufacture of plastic, bendable displays and sensors. For the first time a fully organic, plastic, flexible AMOLED demonstration has been achieved with a real industrial fabrication process. This marks the start of a revolution in wearable products, the next frontier in consumer electronics – 2014 will be the year that wearable technology starts to go mainstream,” revealed CEO of Plastic Logic, Indro Mukerjee.
What makes the tech demonstrator unique is that it is the first time that a “functional all-plastic AMOLED display” has been mated to “an industrialized turnkey manufacturing process for the backplane electronics.” Plastic Logic has described the “fully industrialized plastic, flexible Organic Thin Film Transistor (OTFT) backplane and know-how enabled the world’s first fully organic, flexible display.”
Novaled’s contribution to the project is its PIN OLED® technology, that enables the use of “non-standard electrode materials needed for the flexible AMOLED development.”
“Through the OTFT industrialisation process Plastic Logic has created unique IP and a highly transferable process-flow. With an entire supply chain in place, OTFT manufacturing has now reached a tipping point in performance with leading organic semiconductor (OSC) materials suppliers, including Merck whose OSC material was used in the demonstration, now showing mobilities required to drive OLED displays. The process is compatible with existing mainstream display manufacturing operations, underpinning a new technology licensing business model. Plastic Logic has already established a partner program to work with leading global display makers and consumer electronics companies to enable flexible, plastic AMOLED supply chains through licensing and technology transfer to mass volume producers,” the press release revealed.
“Novaled has been developing its leadership in the doping of OLED devices.” says Gildas Sorin, CEO Novaled GmbH. “When applied to the OTFT Novaled technologies and materials will play a driving role in fully organic displays as well as in opening the fields of new organic devices.”
Demand for such flexible displays is expected to see a sharp increase soon with increasing consumer interest in smart wearable devices, such as smartwatches and fitness bands. Even tablet and smartphones could incorporate flexible displays in future.