European flexible electronics reaches Asian display makers

European flexible electronics reaches Asian display makers

Business news |
By Julien Happich

SmartKem in Manchester, UK, is using the funds to accelerate the adoption of organic semiconductors as a universal thin film transistor (TFT) backplane platform for the mass manufacture of flexible and curved mobile, embedded and large area OLED and LCD displays. The company provides organic semiconductors for the low temperature, solution coat production of high performance TFTs on plastic, which can be used for ultra-flexible TFTs and for transistors that deliver simplified pixel drive circuitry through high transistor electrical stability. This also provides a reduction in power consumption in any display format, translating to weekly and not daily charging of mobile OLED and LCD display based devices such as smartwatches and smartphones.

The two year project will focus on the industrialisation and transfer of SmartKem’s organic semiconductor platform over large area plastic substrates using standard slit coat processing. The main objective will be to maintain electrical and physical uniformity and quality of transistor performance over large area formats for mass production on existing production lines in Asia.

The requirements for the project deliverables are driven by a number of commercial agreements that SmartKem have with display OEMs for the adoption of its platform for flexible display manufacture. The success of the project will ensure a strong European position in the supply of specialised, high value materials to this new, high growth sector of the display industry in Asia.

“The resource and expertise required to transfer a new technology platform such as truFLEX is a demanding and time consuming endeavour,” said Dr Hugh Williamson, SmartKem’s chief operating officer and project leader. “This funding under a collaborative EU project will ensure access to the very best complementary expertise within Europe to significantly accelerate the pre-production and scale up of the technology to meet the high and immediate demand we are seeing in the OLED and LCD display industry in Asia for our materials.”

“Flexible OLED an LCD displays will be integral to a new generation of display based devices for mobile, automotive, industrial and large area applications,” said SmartKem CEO Steve Kelly. “The demand we are seeing for our technology emphasises the strength of the EU chemicals industry and the unique enabling nature of materials innovation in generating the growth of new markets such as the flexible display industry.”

Visit SmartKem at


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SmartKem attracts commercialisation funding for organic semiconductor technology

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