Plastic Logic, a pioneer in flexible plastic electrophoretic displays (EPD), has developed a new mass production-capable technology and manufacturing process in collaboration with the organic electronics specialists from BASF. To demonstrate this breakthrough, Plastic Logic has produced prototypes of two new mass producible 6" display products in 300dpi greyscale and 150dpi colour variants respectively. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Flexible, Printed and Organic Electronics 2019-2029.
This impressive improvement has been achieved through advances in Plastic Logic's transistor matrix backplane, and BASF's innovative organic semiconductor (OSC) materials. The optimized formulation and combination of semiconducting and dielectric materials results in greatly increased carrier mobility, necessary for high resolution display and is also contributing to the overall flexibility of the device which is the key feature of plastic EPDs. BASF's material set can be easily deployed in low-level clean room environments, a must for mass-production.
Tim Burne, CEO, Plastic Logic, commented: "Flexible plastic EPDs offer many fantastic advantages over traditional glass displays — their power consumption, durability, daylight readability, etc. — but the pixel density is often perceived as a limitation. Plenty of R&D work has been spent on improving plastic EPD pixel density, culminating in some impressive prototypes. However, these prototypes have always been very difficult and/or very expensive to produce commercially. Our mass production-capable prototypes, developed in cooperation with BASF is breaking that mould!" Burne adds: "With this new capability and products we're breaking down barriers, creating competitive advantage and widening the potential appeal of ePaper technology."
"We are very proud about this joint team effort and the result. It demonstrates the maturity and market readiness of Plastic Logic's manufacturing technology and of BASF's innovative products, providing carrier mobilities exceeding current standards of e.g. amorphous silicon backplanes", said Felix Görth, Director Organic Electronics at BASF New Business GmbH.
As well as improving the definition of general imagery, Plastic Logic's true 300dpi display will also make written text much sharper — something particularly beneficial for symbol-based languages such as Chinese and Japanese where character details have previously been lost due to pixel density limitations.
Lastly the process co-development with BASF, will have a positive impact on other applications for Plastic Logic's backplane technology. It is being applied to several other highly flexible and durable electronic applications such as sensors and detectors.
Source and top image: Plastic Logic
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Printed Electronics Europe 2020 on 13 - 14 May 2020 at Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.