SmartKem secured a €1.8 million EU grant to transfer its OTFT platform to display makers in Asia

UK's SmartKem, a developer of high-performance organic backplanes for flexible displays, has secured a €1.8 million EU grant to support the industrialisation and technology transfer of its semiconductor platform to display makers in Asia.

The 2-year project (which will total €2.65 million, with a €850,000 contribution from SmartKem itself) is called FLEXTRANS - and it will accelerate the adoption of organic semiconductors as a universal backplane platform for the mass manufacture of flexible and curved OLED and LCD displays. The project will focus on the industrialisation and transfer of the OTFT platform over large area plastic substrates using standard slit coat processing, while maintaining electrical and physical uniformity and quality of transistor performance.

nVerPix demonstrate its CNT-based OLET displays

In 2011 the University of Florida announced a new organic-TFT backplane/emitter technology called CN-VOLET. The University spun-off the technology into a company called nVerPix, with funding from Nanoholdings.

We have talked to nVerPix in the past and updated on the technology back in 2013. The nVerPix team presented their technology at SID's DisplayWeek - and it won the "best prototype" awarded. nVerPix demonstrate a working mono-color (green) 320x240 2.5" display. The aperture ratio is 70% and the brightness is over 500 nits.

The CPI installed a new R&D R2R printing and encapsulation line

The UK-based Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) recently installed a new roll to roll (R2R) slot die/screen printing and encapsulation line that can be used to print, coat and pattern a range of organic and in-organic solution based coatings.

VDL R2R tool at the UK CPI

The new line can assist researchers with development towards commercialization of a host of printable electronics applications - including photovoltaics, OTFT and printed batteries. The system was custom-built by VDL, and it consists of two pieces of equipment - a roll to roll slot die coating and rotary screen printing and a coating toolset.

The CPI developed and installed a new roll-to-roll digital lithography tool for OTFT manufacturing

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is a UK based R&D institute that helps companies develop and scale manufacturing processes. The CPI, in collaboration with Heidelberg Instruments have developed a new high-resolution high-speed roll-to-roll (R2R) digital lithography tool for the manufacture of flexible organic thin film transistors (OTFTs).

CPI and Heidelberg Instruments R2R digital lithography tool

The machine is already installed at the CPI's National Printable Electronics Facility in County Durham, UK. The new tool provides the ability to continuously manufacture OTFTs directly onto rolls of plastic film at rates approaching 0.1 m2/min.

FlexEnable and CPT's OTFT flexible AMOLED prototype shown in video

A few months ago, FlexEnable and Chunghwa Picture Tube (CPT) demonstrated a full-color flexible AMOLED display that uses FlexEnable's OTFT backplane. FlexEnable today published a video showing the display in action:

This glass-free display is still a prototype (as you can see there are many defects) - but it's a great demonstration of a truly flexible display. It operates at 60Hz and is only 125 microns thick.

Polyera explains the company OTFT backplane technology and business

In August 2015 Polyera, a US-based OTFT backplane developer, announced their first product, the Wove Band flexible E Ink smart band, to be released in the second half of 2016. Our sister-site E-Ink-Info posted an interesting interview with the company's Special Projects VP, Brendan Florez.

Polyera flexible TFT scheme

Brendan explains the company's OTFT backplane technology and details Polyera's business and goals. Polyera's backplane has been demonstrated to drive an OLED display in the past, so hopefully OTFT OLEDs will be coming from Polyera in the future. Read the full interview here.

SmartKem signs agreements with two display makers to transfer its OTFT backplane technology

UK's SmartKem, a developer of high-performance organic backplanes for flexible displays, has signed agreements with two "leading Asian display makers" to transfer SmartKem's OTFT tru-FLEX technology into the production lines of the display makers, once process feasibility has been established.

SmartKem will work closely with its two partners to accelerate technology transfer processes to ensure 100% compatibility and full integration.

Polyera announces a flexible E Ink smart band based on their OTFT backplanes

US-based Polyera was established in 2005 to develop OTFT-based flexible display backplanes - suitable for OLEDs and E Ink displays. The company already demonstrated a flexible OLED based on their backplanes, and now they announced their first product, the Wove Band smartband device.

Polyera Wove Band photo

We do not have any technical details, but this looks to be an interesting device, and hopefully they will follow-up with a similar OLED-based device. Polyera will start shipping samples in December to developers and artists, and the commercial launch is planned for mid-2016.

Researchers from the US and Israel granted $180,000 to develop OLEDs with vertical transistor

Professor Bjorn Lussem from Kent State University received a $180,000 grant from the Binational Science Foundation to continue his development of an OLED display that is driven by a vertical organic transistor.

Professor Lussem explains that vertical transistors use less voltage so they are more power efficient. A vertical design also means you can make higher density displays. Professor Lussem's partner in this reserach is Professor Nir tessler from Israel's Technion institute for technology.

FlexEnable and CPT demonstrate a full-color OTFT flexible AMOLED display

FlexEnable and Chunghwa Picture Tube (CPT) demonstrate an OTFT full-color flexible AMOLED display manufactured by using FlexEnable's low-temperature process and CPT's RGB OLED technology.

FlexEnable / CPT flexible OTFT AMOLED prototype (June 2015)

The glass-free prototype display (which you can see above) is a full-color AMOLED that operates at 60Hz and is only 125 microns thick. This is a great achievement, but it's not clear whether CPT aims to commercialize such displays any time soon.