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CPI process bends OTFT for flexible AMOLED displays

28 Jan 2014  | Paul Buckley

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The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in the United Kingdom has developed backplane fabrication processes to allow the bending of organic thin film transistor (OTFT) arrays to small radii (1 mm) without reducing device performance. The research is showing progress towards optimum organic semiconductor (OSC)/OTFT processing and performance to allow their integration into ultra-flexible active matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) displays. High-performance OSC materials with charge mobility suitable for OLED driving were used in the tests on 50 micron thick PEN film, the company said.

In order to achieve the tight bend radius, the multiple interfaces present in the device stack were optimised to allow good adhesion under the strains experienced in the bending test. Using patterned OSC layers and additional passivation layer processing, display pixel size OTFTs were fabricated and these were repeatedly bent (up to 10,000 times) to a radius of 1 mm, which equates to a strain of 2.5 per cent. Minimal change in the turn on voltage and on current was observed for the elongated cycle test.

The demonstration of bend resistance in high performance OTFT devices is part of ongoing work to integrate these materials into active matrix backplanes for AMOLED. It is expected that within 2014, the first plastic based display demonstrators will be completed using OTFT in project ROBOLED, which has received funding through the Technology Strategy Board.

CPI is the UK's National Centre for Printable Electronics. Focused on the development, scale-up, and commercialisation of printable electronics applications, CPI is equipped with a range of assets specifically chosen and developed to allow clients to understand how their products and processes perform under pilot manufacturing conditions.

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