EWING, N.J., 20 Nov. 2009. Universal Display Corp., provider of displays and lighting through its UniversalPHOLED phosphorescent OLED technology, and the Flexible Display Center (FDC) at Arizona State University are jointly fabricating prototype active-matrix PHOLEDs on flexible plastic substrates for the U.S. Army. Universal Display also won a $650,000 U.S. Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Enhancement contract to support this work.
Officials at Universal Display, a charter FDC member since its founding in 2004, and the FDC anticipate their enhanced strategic relationship will accelerate the demonstration of high-performance, active-matrix PHOLEDs on flexible plastic substrates for the U.S. Army and others.
Earlier this year, the FDC and Universal Display demonstrated a 4.1-inch monochrome quarter video graphics array (QVGA) amorphous-silicon (a-Si:H) PHOLED display produced on DuPont Teijin's polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrate.
"Our work with Universal Display highlights the type of collaborative development taking place at the FDC and the clear benefits that the Center's model brings to technology development," says Nick Colaneri, director of the Flexible Display Center. "Universal Display has been involved in the FDC since its inception, and together we have already achieved a number of key milestones related to flexible OLED technology, including manufacturing a functional flexible OLED directly on plastic using the Center's manufacturing process. We welcome an even stronger partnership with Universal Display with the goal of accelerating the delivery of lightweight, flexible OLED technology into the field where its benefits to soldiers will be significant."
As part of this strategic relationship, Universal Display and the FDC will work to demonstrate flexible OLED display prototypes with enhanced performance for the U.S. Army. The FDC will fabricate a-Si:H thin-film transistor (TFT) arrays on flexible plastic substrates using its low-temperature backplane and proprietary bond-debond manufacturing technologies. Universal Display will then use its UniversalPHOLED materials and technology to build full-color AMOLED displays.
"We look forward to accelerating the Army's goals to enable flexible PHOLED technology for the Soldier through the SBIR contract for barrier technology in conjunction with the joint Universal Display-FDC fabrication work," says Eric Forsythe, team leader, Flexible Displays and Electronics, Army Research Laboratory.
For prototypes to be delivered under the U.S. Army SBIR Phase II Enhancement Program, Universal Display will also use its proprietary encapsulation film technology to create permeation barriers on the substrate and on top of the OLED to prevent harmful moisture and oxygen from reaching the OLED device, says a representative.
Says Steven V. Abramson, president and CEO of Universal Display: "Through the continued support of the U.S. Army, flexible OLEDs have the potential to enable the development of lighter weight, thinner and more durable portable electronics for communication and data uses for military and commercial applications alike."
Flexible OLEDs may open up a wide range of new display applications, including novel, compact and light weight information and communications systems for military and commercial applications.