Award-winning technology platform
FlexEnable’s award-winning flexible technology platform, together with 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 liquid crystal (LC) 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 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.
Key features & benefits
Biaxially formable to 3D shapes
Ultra-thin and ultra-light
Built on optically ideal plastic films
Low temperature, sustainable manufacturing
Low cost manufacturing using existing display fabs
Integrated OTFT technology
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.
Reduce – At less than 100°C, the reduced manufacturing temperatures of organic transistors compared to 300-500°C of silicon TFTs reduces energy consumption in production when compared to glass displays. The combination of low temperatures and CVD-free processes for 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 an estimated carbon footprint reduction of 67,000 tonnes of CO2 per year for a single factory.
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 for flexible display technology and to rapidly scale volume production.
Recycle – The low process temperatures allow a plastic film such as TAC (Triacetyl 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 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 ready for the next display.
Low temperature manufacturing on flexible films
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 key to being low cost, scalable and sustainable.
Our mount and demount process