FlexEnable Collaborates with Merck to Enable Novel Display Shapes Using Conformable Plastic LCDs

By Isaac Oburu
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FlexEnable, the leader in the development and industrialisation of organic electronics for flexible displays and sensors, has partnered with Merck, the global market and technology leader in liquid crystal mixtures, to enable novel display shapes, following FlexEnable’s recent breakthrough with conformable, large area, full colour and video rate OLCDs.

With a bend radius that can go below 30 millimeters, organic LCDs can already satisfy the market needs for new use cases, for example in automotive applications, where bright, reliable, conformable and shapeable displays are required. By combining FlexEnable’s high-performance organic thin-film transistors with Merck’s innovative polymer wall LC technology organic LCDs can be curved around even more complex surfaces and shapes. These polymer walls can enhance cell-gap control while providing excellent display performance. Organic LCDs can be manufactured on conventional production lines.

Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable, says, “FlexEnable’s breakthrough with low cost conformable plastic LCDs has opened up several exciting avenues for innovation that allow LCDs to be thinner and more flexible, with high manufacturing yield and low cost. Polymer wall technology will allow LCD frontplanes to be bent into more complex structures and shapes, further unlocking the benefits of truly flexible, low cost OTFT backplane technology for applications including automotive, consumer electronics and digital signage. We are excited to collaborate with Merck on making novel display shapes a real option for designers.”

Mark Verrall, Head of Research & Development in the Display Materials business unit of Merck, says, “The production of free-form and flexible LC displays on plastic substrates will open up an entire new range of applications and opportunities in the display market. The technology developed by FlexEnable demonstrates a breakthrough in this field, and we at Merck are very pleased to be the key materials partner to enable this exciting development. Merck continues to develop the highest performance materials for this application, including advanced Liquid Crystal materials designed especially for plastic LCD applications, and a full range of materials for organic TFT manufacture.”

Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable, will give a presentation on conformable organic LCDs for automotive applications at the Automotive Display Conference during SID Display Week (May 21 – 26, 2017).