SmartKem announced that it has finalized an industrial grade 2.5-Gen (400x500 mm) process for the mass production of OTFT backplanes on glass or plastic. SmartKem achieved this step at its pilot line in the UK CPI and its own synthesis and formulation Technology Centre based at Hexagon Tower in Manchester. The approved process is now being transferred to its production partners in Asia. The OTFT backplanes can be used for LCD or OLED displays.
SmartKem's customer will integrate the new process in a pilot line for the manufacture of product prototypes and scaled display production. It is anticipated that the first display products manufactured through this collaboration will hit the Asian market within 12-18 months.
SmartKem further discloses that one of the world's largest display makers has decided to build a dedicated Gen-3.5 OTFT backplane production line. This line, once commissioned, will focus on plastic substrates for e-paper displays. Later on it could be easily converted to make OTFT backplanes for LCD and OLED displays.
Smartkem says that its process can produce the world's thinnest and most robust TFT backplanes. Its OTFT backplane, according to the company, can lead to 50% power savings in displays - compared to either LTPS or Oxide-TFT backplanes. This makes it especially suitable for wearable devices.