OTFT developer SmartKem raised $24.6 million in a private placement

UK-based OTFT display backplane developer SmartKem has closed a $24.6 million private placement financing. Prior to the financing, the company also completed a reverse acquisition transaction with Parasol Investments Corporation (Parasol), a public Delaware corporation, whereby SmartKem became a wholly owned subsidiary of Parasol which later changed its name to SmartKem and will continue with the company's business as it is.

Smartkem TruFlex structure image

SmartKem says that the new financing will allow the company to continue and scale and expand the production of its ink material, its electrical design automation tools and its foundry services.

Interview with the CEO of OTFT developer SmartKem

UK-based SmartKem develops a new class of flexible high-mobility OTFT display backplane technologies. The company provides customized solutions involving molecular synthesis, electronic prototyping and on-site technology transfer support.

As Smartkem is developing new backplane materials for OLEDs, ePaper and mini-LED devices, we discuss its technology and business with the company's CEO and chairman, Ian Jenks.

OLET developer Mattrix Technologies announces an additional $1.5 million investment by JSR

Organic-TFT backplane/emitter developer Mattrix Technologies (previously nVerPix) announced that it has received a $1.5 million investment from JSR Corporation. This second investment by JSR is the first tranche in the company's new round (which will total, hopefully, $3 million)

JSR is a strategic investor, and has also launched a joint-development project for the development of solution-based conductive inks that will be sued in Mattrix's next-generation backplane transistors.

OLET developer Mattrix Technologies raised $3 million

Organic-TFT backplane/emitter developer Mattrix Technologies (previously nVerPix) announced that it has closed its Series A financing round, with $3 million in investment from Samsung Ventures and JSR Corporation.

Mattrix Technologies, spun-out of the University of Florida in 2011, developed the world's first full-aperture OLET (organic light emitting transistor) display technology, based on the company's proprietary CN-VOLET (carbon-nanotube enabled, vertical, organic, light emitting transistor) technology, a new pixel architecture that combines the drive transistor, storage capacitor and light emitting layers into a sequentially deposited, vertical, transparent stack. The company is also looking into graphene electrodes as an alternative to CNTs.

Researchers from Italy develop a graphene-based OFET for future OLED and OLET backplanes

Researchers from Italy's ISOF-CNR, University of Naples "Federico II" and Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia have developed new organic n-type FET transistors based on CVD graphene sheets. The researchers say that the new process and materials they used can enable flexible, transparent and short-channel OFETs - which could be used in the future for OLED or OLET displays.

ISOF CNF CVD graphene OFET structure photo

To create the new transistors, the researchers used thermally evaporated thin-films of PDIF-CN2 (a perylene diimide derivative, specifically Flexterra's ActiveInk N1100) as the organic semiconductor for the active channel of the transistor, with the single-layer CVD graphene (grown at Italy's IIT INSTITUTE) as the electrode material

Novares invests 5 million Euro in FlexEnable, to help bring OLCDs to the automotive market

FlexEnable announced that Novares, a plastic automotive solutions provider, invested €5 million in the company. This is a strategic investment by Novares that aims to bring FlexEnable's flexible organic LCD (OLCD) to automotive interiors.

Interestingly the press release does not discuss OLEDs at all, only OLCDs which is described as a low-cost, high-reliability, conformable and shapeable display technology. FlexEnable started commercializing its OLCD technology together with Truly Semiconductors in 2017. OLCD production is expected to begin by the end of 2018, and Novares already demonstrated a demo Car that features OLCD displays

SmartKem announces a landmark deal with a Taiwan-based OLED and LCD maker to bring OTFT displays to market

UK-based OTFT developer SmartKem announced that it has signed a landmark deal with a leading display maker in Taiwan that will enable the display maker to commercialize SmartKem's OTFT technology in flexible displays.

SmartKem OTFT transistors photo

The agreement will see a complete technology transfer, including production line deployment and supply of materials. This agreement marks the culmination of the LOI signed in November 2017. SmartKem updates us that this agreement covers both LCD and OLED displays.

SmartKem signs an agreement with a display maker in Taiwan to develop and produce OTFT-based displays

UK-based OFTF developer SmartKem announced that it has signed a Letter Of Intent (LOI) with a display maker in Taiwan to develop and mass produce commercial displays using its OTFT technology.

SmartKem OTFT transistors photo

SmartKem did not name this company, but they did say that the company produces both LCD and AMOLED displays, which means it is likely to be either AU Optronics or Innolux. It is not clear whether the Taiwanes display maker will use SmartKem's technology for future OLED or LCD displays (or, most likely, both).

SmartKem's CEO explains the company's OTFT tech and the future of flexible OLED production

Steve Kelly (SmartKem)UK-based SmartKem is developing a new class of flexible high-mobility p-type semiconductor inks for flexible displays. The company recently made headlines as it started its commercialization phase and announces advances in its collaboration projects with OLED producers in Asia.

SmartKem's CEO and founder, Steve Kelly, was kind enough to answer a few questions we had on SmartKem's technology and business. Steve is an international business professional with more than 20 years’ experience specializing in technology ventures, particularly early stage. He has extensive experience in Intellectual Property exploitation, VC funding and launching new technology to market.

Q: Steve, thank you for your time and for this interview. Can you first give us an overview of SmartKem’s OTFT technology?

SmartKem’s organic thin film transistor (OTFT) backplanes are designed for both glass and flexible displays. They are compatible with electronic paper displays (EPD), liquid crystal displays (LCD) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technologies. Through our sophisticated modelling and simulation, they have sufficient driving capability for OLED and potentially, microOLED displays which offer increased contrast, response times and energy efficiency.

Smartkem and a leading OLED maker in China to co-develop and commercialize OTFT-based LCDs and OLEDs

UK-based OTFT developer SmartKem announced that it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) towards a commercialization partnership with a leading OLED market in China. This partnership will enable the development and industrialization of OTFT LCDs and OLEDs on plastic substrates.

OTFT Backplane (SmartKem)

SmartKem says that this LOI is just the first step in a joint commitment by SmartKem and the OLED maker to develop LCD and AMOLED solutions and a full commercialization of an OTFT-based display production.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters