Flexible technology platform
FlexEnable offers an unrivalled and complete manufacturing solution for flexible displays and liquid crystal optics.
FlexEnable’s award-winning flexible technology platform, including our unique FlexiOM™ materials, brings transformational possibilities to products including AR and VR optics, ePrivacy screens, automotive smart windows and displays. The complete low temperature manufacturing process allows, for the first time, commonly available and optically ideal flexible bio-degradable substrates such as TAC film to be used instead of glass. This innovative technology is used to make active matrix flexible Organic Liquid Crystal Displays (OLCDs) and flexible active optical films which are thin, light and conformable to almost any surface.
Today FlexEnable has around 600 patents and patent applications globally for OTFT and Liquid Crystal (LC) Cell materials, processes and architectures. The company has technology transfer programmes underway with several leading display manufacturers in Asia as well as commercial programmes with some of the world’s biggest brands in consumer electronics.
Flexible OTFT Arrays
Flexible LC Cells
Bending radius down to 0.1 mm
Substrate thickness down to 25 µm
6g per A4 sheet
Better stability than a-Si
|Low temperature manufacturing
1.5 cm2/Vs - 3X higher mobility than a-Si
Lower leakage currents than a-Si
Lowest cost flexible displays
Benefits to display makers
Our OTFT platform is the most flexible array technology available and offers unique benefits to display makers. The scalable organic transistor processes have been specifically designed to be implemented on today’s flat panel display manufacturing lines and are already proven for mass production. They are the lowest cost way to produce area-scalable active-matrix flexible displays and optics. Through our Technology Transfer and Licensing programme we help manufacturing partners not only achieve product innovation, but also reduce their environmental impact by implementing sustainable manufacturing.
Our unique manufacturing approach minimises the environmental impact compared to today’s glass-based display production. We do this by reducing energy consumption, reusing equipment, and using recyclable materials. For example, in comparison to glass displays, OLCD brings huge energy savings primarily as a result of the incredibly low manufacturing temperatures used:
- Reduce – At 100°C, the reduced manufacturing temperatures of organic transistors compared to 300°C-500°C of silicon TFTs reduces energy consumption in production compared to glass displays. The combined energy savings of low temperatures and CVD-free processes of OLCD reduce production energy by around 25% compared to glass LCD. With a medium-sized (Gen 6) display factory consuming around 500 GWh/year, this major energy saving also results in a carbon footprint reduction of 67,000 tonnes of CO2 per year for a single factory. If applied industry-wide the energy savings alone would be enough to power 1 million homes.
- Reuse – OLCD is purposefully designed to re-use existing factories originally built to make glass displays. This prolongs the useful economic life of existing installations by giving them the capability to manufacture highly disruptive flexible display technology and then rapidly scale volume production.
- Recycle – The low process temperatures allow a plastic film known as TAC (Tri acetyl cellulose) to be used as the substrate instead of glass. TAC is a widely available bioplastic made of a cellulose derived from the same raw material as paper, is highly recyclable and biodegradable, and already used in the displays supply chain. During production of the flexible displays, the TAC film is stuck to a sheet of display glass. After production is complete the flexible display is removed, and the glass is reused for the next display.
Mount and demount process
FlexEnable’s efficient manufacturing approach to making flexible electronics is unique. The conventional approach is to manufacture silicon or other ceramic-based circuits on glass with a highly engineered interlayer that is capable of coping with the extreme process temperatures, often surpassing 450°C. The removal of the finished circuit from the glass requires stressful and often expensive debonding techniques that make it difficult to scale to large sizes cost effectively.
Our approach is to use conventional adhesive technology to attach low-cost plastic films to glass and then use our low temperature organic transistor process to manufacture the same circuits. This allows us to use a very simple and efficient demount process to release the flexible device and recycle the glass carrier. In the world of flexible electronics, low temperature manufacturing is the key to low cost, scalable and sustainable.
FlexEnable's low cost mount and demount process compared with conventional 'lift off' approaches