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.

SmartKem announced OTFT advances in Asia

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.

OTFT developer SmartKem announces a £3 million financing round

UK's SmartKem, a developer of high-performance organic backplanes for flexible displays, announced a €3 million financing round from its existing investors, including BASF Venture Capital, Octopus Ventures and Entrepreneurs Fund.

This new round follows a recent €1.8 million EU grant awarded to SmartKem to support the commercialisation of the company’s technology platform, specifically with display makers in Asia.

Yole Developpement sees OTFT-based flexible OLEDs within 2-3 years

Yole Developpement released a new report covering the OTFT market for flexible displays and other applications. According to Yole, some display makers in Taiwan and China are currently in the process of industrializing OTFT-based displays - flexible LCDs at first, with flexible OLEDs coming within 2-3 years.

OTFT penetration for displays (2016-2022, Yole)

The mobility of OTFTs are already high enough for LCDs (higher than a-Si) - but still not enough for OLEDs. But in 2-3 years this should be resolved, with low-performance (200 PPI) OLED displays for wearables, some consumer applications and embedded automotive OLEDs possible within 2-3 years.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters