Plastic Logic was founded in 2000 as a spin-off from Cambridge University, to develop OTFT backplanes for displays. The company mostly focus on e-paper (E Ink) displays, but it is also involved with OLED displays.
In 2011 Plastic Logic received a major investment from Russia's RUSNANO fund, and the company setup a manufacturing plant in Dresden, Germany. In February 2015 Plastic Logic spun-off FlexEnable to handle technology development and licensing, and is currently developing and manufacturing flexible OTFT-based EPD (E Ink) displays.
The latest Plastic Logic OLED news:
A few weeks ago I posted about Plastic Logic's OTFT-based AMOLED demonstration. While the company's current demo is a simple display (monochrome white), it seems that Plastic Logic believes that OTFT technology is now reaching a performance level for adoption in AMOLED displays.
I discussed this with Mike Banach, Plastic Logic's Research Director. Mike (and the rest of the team at PL too, of course) says that organic semiconducting materials have reached a "tipping point" in electrical performance that makes them viable to drive flexible OLED displays. Couple this with the industrial and flexibility benefits of using solution-based organic materials makes it a compelling technology option for display makers looking to establish a position in the flexible display market.
Update: It turns out that Plastic Logic didn't actually demonstrate the flexible OLED prototype. They did show a presentation, in which they revealed that the current first-gen prototype is monochrome (red) and quite simple. They do intend to keep producing new demonstrators throughout 2014.
Novaled (owned by Samsung) and Plastic Logic announced that during 2014 they will demonstrate truly flexible, plastic, full-organic AMOLED displays. The first-gen display was demonstrated at the FlexTech conference in Phoenix last week. Plastic Logic hopes that the technology will be ready for adoption by display makers towards the end of 2014.
The two companies say that this is the first time an all-plastic AMOLED produced in a low-temperature manufacturing process is demonstrated. The display uses Novaled's PIN OLED materials and Plastic Logic's OTFT backplane. The display also used organic materials from Merck (probably the emitters).
The UK's' Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) developed new backplane fabrication processes to allow the bending of Organic Thin Film Transistors (OTFT) arrays to small radii (1 mm) without a significant reduction in device performance. In the video below you can see a bending test of the OTFT array produced on a 50-micron thick PEN film. Those arrays can be bent up to 10,000 times.
The CPI hopes that these new processes will eventually lead to the adoption of such organic backplanes in OLED displays, and they say that the OTFTs feature a charge mobility that is "suitable" for OLED driving (although it was only 2 cm2/Vs. They have since upgraded it to 4 cm2/Vs) and they managed to fabricate display pixel-sized OTFTs.
According to ETNews, during CES Samsung Display has been privately showing a new foldable display prototype. SDC continues to develop their foldable OLEDs, and they are still only track to release the first foldable mobile phone in 2015.
According to the report, the prototype panel was 5.68" in size, it uses a polyimide (plastic) substrate and it includes a touch panel. The touch panel uses metal-mesh electrodes instead of ITO (which is brittle and cannot be used in foldable displays).
Cambridge University's Graphene Centre and Plastic Logic have signed a research collaboration agreement on graphene in flexible plastic electronics. This strategic agreement has several activities and goals, one of them is to develop graphene as a transparent, highly conductive layer for plastic backplanes for unbreakable LCD and flexible OLED displays.
The two other research goals are to develop new transistor structures that use graphene-like materials as the active layer and to exploit the commercialization of graphene for flexible electronics.
Plastic Logic developed a new OTFT-based flexible 42" e-paper (E Ink) display, made from 16 10.7" flexible panels tiled together. This display is thin (less then 3 mm) and very light. Plastic Logic will collaborate with Toppan printing to bring these new displays to the market.
The two companies will find new applications in the signage market. This display can be hung like a poster, has very low power consumption (it's non-volatile and only requires power to change the image) and is readable outdoors. Apparently the first application will be used as information signs that can provide disaster-related information in an emergency situation where battery-operation is required.
Intel and Plastic Logic have jointly developed a new paper-like tablet prototype (which they call PaperTab). These tablets use Plastic Logic's 10.7" flexible touch E Ink displays and Intel's Core i5 processors. A user can use several PaperTabs devices at the same time, and these can interact between them, as can be seen in the video below:
Roel Vertegaal, a director in Queen's University's human media lab (who's also involved in this projector) estimates that most computers will look and feel like that - within five to ten years. It's likely that the displays will be full-color OLED ones by then, though...
The UK's Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is funding 43 new projects under the ‘Technology Inspired Innovation’ R&D competition. Plastic Logic will participate in two of these projects, both related to OLEDs. The first one aims to develop new high-performance amorphous polymers, and the second called ROBOLED aims to integrate organic thin-film transistors (TFTs) backplanes with OLED frontplanes. Plastic Logic is collaborating with the UK's CPI on this project.
Back in January 2011 Plastic Logic received $700 million in funding from Russia's RusNano fund - to build a mass-production factory for thin, light and flexible plastic-based e-paper displays. The company recently withdrew from the e-reader market, and is now focused on technology licensing.
Plastic Logic announced a major investment from Russia's RUSNANO. The $700 million (!) investment will be used to build a mass-production factory for thin, light and flexible plastic-based e-paper displays. Those displays will be used in Plastic Logic’s first commercial consumer electronics product, a next-generation electronic reader for business that is currently under development.
The new factory will be built in Zelenograd, Russia, and is scheduled to begin production in 2013/2014 - and will be able to produce hundreds of thousands displays monthly. This will be Plastic Logic's second factory (the first one was opened in 2008 in Dresden, Germany). Russia hopes that this move will establish a commercial plastic electronics industry.
Plastic Logic raises $100 million to enable the first “take anywhere, read anywhere” electronic reader products
Plastic Logic announced today that it will build the first factory to manufacture plastic electronics on a commercial scale. The facility will produce flexible active-matrix E Ink display modules for ‘take anywhere, read anywhere’ electronic reader products. It will utilize Plastic Logic’s unique process to fabricate active-matrix displays that are thin, light and robust; enabling a reading experience closer to paper than any other technology.
To fund this comprehensive commercialization program, Plastic Logic has completed a first closing of $100 million of equity finance led by Oak Investment Partners and Tudor Investment Corporation. Existing investors Amadeus, which led the seed financing of Plastic Logic, Intel Capital, Bank of America, BASF Venture Capital, Quest for Growth and Merifin Capital also participated. The financing is one of the largest in the history of European venture capital.