Plastic Logic and Novaled Partner to Develop Flexible OLED for Wearable Applications

Plastic Logic, the leader in the development and industrialisation of flexible organic electronics, and Novaled, a leading company in organic electronic materials and technology for OLED applications, announce a partnership which will transform and accelerate the market for flexible and wearable displays. The companies demonstrate today at the Flextech Conference in Phoenix, AZ a truly flexible, plastic, fully organic AMOLED display. This will be the  first of a series of technology demonstrators during 2014, which will be part of each company’s development of partnerships to enable the market for truly flexible, unbreakable AMOLED displays - a market segment forecast to be worth over US$ 10 billion by 2020 (IHS 2013 report).

The dream of wearable display technology is existing for a long time now. Making this real has needed the correct set of electronics capabilities to enable compelling and practical solutions for lifestyle, communications and fitness applications. The demonstrator heralds a breakthrough by combining for the first time a functional all-plastic AMOLED display with an industrialized turnkey manufacturing process for the backplane electronics. This marks the beginning of a new chapter for display makers searching for a path to ultra-flexible, ultra-thin, lightweight AMOLEDs, using a low temperature process which has a number of key industrial benefits, including superior uniformity, yield and hence ultimately a route to low cost solutions for volume manufacturing.

Both companies bring critical technology to the demonstration. Novaled’s PIN OLED® technology enables the use of non-standard electrode materials needed for the flexible AMOLED development. Plastic Logic’s fully industrialized plastic, flexible Organic Thin Film Transistor (OTFT) backplane and know-how enabled the world’s first fully organic, flexible display. Such truly flexible AMOLEDs, and the increased usable screen areas they make possible, are set to power the next generation of products for the wearable market, poised to take off in 2014.

Through the OTFT industrialization process Plastic Logic has created unique IP and a highly transferable process-flow. With an entire supply chain in place, OTFT manufacturing has now reached a tipping point in performance with leading organic semiconductor (OSC) materials suppliers, including Merck whose OSC material was used in the demonstration, now showing motilities required to drive OLED displays. The process is compatible with existing mainstream display manufacturing operations, underpinning a new technology licensing business model. Plastic Logic has already established a partner program to work with leading global display makers and consumer electronics companies to enable flexible, plastic AMOLED supply chains through licensing and technology transfer to mass volume producers.

Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Plastic Logic, acknowledged the scale and relevance of the breakthrough, said “Flexible electronics is a reality, already proven through the development and manufacture of plastic, bendable displays and sensors. For the first time a fully organic, plastic, flexible AMOLED demonstration has been achieved with a real industrial fabrication process. This marks the start of a revolution in wearable products, the next frontier in consumer electronics – 2014 will be the year that wearable technology starts to go mainstream.”

“Novaled has been developing its leadership in the doping of OLED devices”, said Gildas Sorin, CEO Novaled. “When applied to the OTFT Novaled technologies and materials will play a driving role in fully organic displays as well as in opening the fields of new organic devices.”

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