Plastic Active-Matrix SVGA flexible e-paper Display
By Mike Hanlon
December 5, 2005
December 6, 2005 Plastic electronics developer Plastic Logic has developed the world's largest flexible organic active matrix display. The display consists of a flexible, high resolution, printed active-matrix backplane driving an electronic paper frontplane from E Ink Corporation. The display will be publicly shown at the 12th International Displays Workshop in Takamatsu, Japan tomorrow. The displays are 10" diagonal SVGA (600 by 800) with 100ppi resolution and 4 levels of greyscale. The thickness of the display when laminated with E Ink Imaging Film is less than 0.4mm. The backplane substrate is made from low temperature PET supplied by DuPont Teijin Films which is more flexible and easier to handle than alternatives such as thin glass or steel foil.
E Ink Imaging Film is an electrophoretic display material that looks like printed ink-on-paper and has been designed for use in paper-like electronic displays. Like paper, the material can be flexed and rolled. The film only consumes battery power while the image is updated.
The displays were fabricated using Plastic Logic's new 350mm by 350mm Prototype Line and its proprietary printed electronics process that is scalable for large area, high volume and low cost. Plastic Logic will partner with manufacturers to bring the process to mass production.
John Mills, VP of Engineering said "We installed our Prototype Line in just a few months using readily available production equipment. Our process lets us correct for distortion on flexible substrates in real time. The new line will be used to support technology transfer to our manufacturing partners and to create advanced product prototypes for device-makers. The rapid start-up of our new facility illustrates the simplicity of our process compared with conventional TFT technologies."
Simon Jones, VP of Business Development said, "Glass based active-matrix displays like your laptop screen are heavy and fragile. They cannot address many applications in mobile devices and retail signage where there is a strong market demand for large, thin and unbreakable screens. Plastic Logic's approach of printing transistors on plastic is the first commercially attractive solution to meet this market need. The flexibility of the display even allows a pressure sensor to be placed under the screen to implement a touchscreen without compromising the optical performance of the display. Plastic Logic's new capability will trigger a wave of product innovation enabled by thin and flexible plastic displays."
About Plastic Logic
Plastic Logic is a leading developer of plastic electronics - a new technology for manufacturing (or printing) electronics. The Plastic Logic approach solves the critical issues in manufacturing high resolution transistor arrays on flexible plastic substrates by using a low temperature process without mask alignment that is scaleable for large area, high volume and low cost.
This enables radical new product concepts in a wide range of applications including flexible displays and sensors. Independent experts from IDTechEx forecast plastic electronics will be a $30 billion industry by 2015, and could reach as much as $250 billion by 2025.
Plastic Logic operates from the world's first plastic electronics Prototype Line on the Cambridge Science Park. It was spun out of Cambridge University in 2000 to build on 10 years of research and has a team of 48 employees. The company has now raised nearly $50 million equity and venture finance from financial and industrial investors including Amadeus Capital Partners (UK), BASF (Germany), Bank of America (US), Dow Chemical (USA), Intel (US), Morningside (Hong Kong), Nanotech Partners (an international nanotechnology fund established principally by Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan), PolyTechnos Venture-Partners (Germany), Siemens (Germany) and Yasuda (Japan). Other shareholders include Cambridge Display Technology, Seiko Epson, and the University of Cambridge. Venture finance has been provided by European Technology Ventures and European Venture Partners.