Victrex and the Holst Centre presented progress in flexible substrate development based on Victrex's APTIV PEEK polymer film. The results are promising and Victrex decided to step into a full partnership with the Holst Centre. Victrex's material can withstand high processing temperatures in comparison with other thermoplastic materials, and can be used as a substrate for flexible and printed electronics such as OLED.

Specifically, enhancements were applied during the manufacturing process of APTIV PEEK film in order to fulfill the dimensional stability requirements of flexible substrates used in plastic electronics applications. In the study, the performance of the APTIV flexible electronics grade was compared to that of the standard extruded APTIV film along with other competing candidate films. Critical performance parameters were measured, such as the coefficient of thermal expansion, thermo mechanical properties and dimensional stability, mostly at up to 230ºC.

The study revealed that Victrex's additional processing treatment of the APTIV film led to a decrease of thermal expansion, shrinkage and general improvement of the thermo mechanical properties. Organic thin-film transistor backplanes, used in flexible displays, were patterned onto the optimized APTIV PEEK films and these MIM stacks on APTIV PEEK films showed similar performance to that typically obtained with devices on PEN films, but with the potential for processing at higher temperatures (which is important in enhancing the processing of flexible electronics) In addition, the potential for APTIV PEEK films in OLED applications was demonstrated by practical example that showed similar performance compared to devices on other leading flexible substrates.

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