SmartKem Optimistic on Chinese Opportunity

SmartKem’s CEO has said that he expects the company’s organic TFT technology to be in shipping flexible LCD products in the next 12 to 18 months and to be in OLEDs in two years from now. The company recently signed a deal (SmartKem Signs Deal with Chinese OLED Firm ) with a Chinese company for LCD and OLED applications. The initial application is likely to be in the flexible display area for use in wearables. OLED applications will also be for flexible displays, but with a tighter bending radius – and the company claims to be able to bend its materials to 0.5mm radius.

In an interview following the announcement, Steve Kelly, the CEO of the company, said that he believes that the quick time to market is enabled by a number of factors including the complete stack that the firm can supply, including the semiconductor, dielectric, passivation and planarisation layers, all of which are organic and solution-based. The TFTs can also be integrated into existing production lines using slit coating at less than 150ºC.

The technology can also be used for LCD, TFT or even EPD applications. Further, the technology is claimed to have better off state characteristics than LTPS, which means lower power consumption. The company also claims ‘best in class’ stability based on the quality of its materials and up to four times the current capacity of competitive technologies.

Kelly said that he believes that the relative simplicity of the firm’s processes and materials compared to LTPS will be a big advantage as China looks to expand into flexible displays and OLEDs, although at the moment the company is working on lines from 2.5G to 4.5G with a plan to move to 6G substrates.