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Team touts advance in flexible OLED displays

Posted: 04 Jun 2009  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OLED  flexible display  semiconductor 

Researchers at the Arizona State University's Flexible Display Center claim to have taken a step toward a commercial fexible displays, manufacturing a 4.1-inch monochrome QVGA OLED directly on DuPont Teijin's polyethylene naphthalate substrate.

The 4.1-inch QVGA display represents a key step towards achieving a manufacturing solution for flexible OLEDs, according to the Center.

A PEN substrate is a polyester material with good oxygen barrier properties, which are important for making reliable flexible displays.

The display uses Universal Display's PHOLED materials, which allow OLEDs to convert up to 100 percent of the electrical energy into light. Traditional fluorescent OLEDs convert only 25 percent of electricity into light.

Universal Display integrated the Center's backplane designed for its PHOLED front plane to produce the display.

"The fact that we have achieved a functional flexible OLED manufactured directly on plastic using the Center's manufacturing process represents a significant achievement, and continued developments over the next few years will lead to full-color, full-motion video flexible displays," said Center director Nick Colaneri.

The flexible backplane display was manufactured using a 180°C TFT process. The researchers used traditional display and semiconductor tools and processes, including a proprietary bond-debond technology used to secure plastic substrates to a rigid carrier during manufacturing.

The Center and Universal Display will present a paper discussing the active matrix flexible OLED June 5 during the Society of Information Displays (SID 2009).

The co-authors include the Army Research Laboratory, which uses the Arizona Center as the proving ground for rugged flexible displays.

The center also has teamed with the University of Texas at Dallas to produce CMOS circuitry on a flexible plastic substrate. The plastic circuits exhibited one-third the power consumption of traditional thin-film transistor circuitry, making flexible CMOS useful for potential applications like smart medical bandages or triage patches, according to the Flexible Display Center.

- Nicolas Mokhoff
EE Times





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