FlexEnable’s new 12.1“ LCD platform delivers large area flexible displays for next generation product designs

Large area OLCD concepts (from left): 1) A curved LCD in the car's A-pillar to eliminate the blind spot; 2) and 3) Plastic LCDs used for digital signage 4) A curved display used in digital fashion (photo: FlexEnable)

FlexEnable (Cambridge, UK), a leading company dedicated to the development and industrialisation of flexible organic electronics, developed a 12.1” glass-free, conformable organic liquid crystal display (OLCD) marking an important milestone in the commercialisation of large area flexible displays. The technology is compatible with existing LCD production lines, and is scalable to even larger area displays to meet the immediate market needs for applications including automotive, consumer electronics, and digital signage.

FlexEnable’s OLCD platform is reported to bring vivid colours and smooth video content to flexible displays, and is completely free of glass; instead, it uses organic transistors on a plastic sheet, making the display four times thinner (less than 0.3mm) and more than ten times lighter than conventional glass-based displays. These characteristics, combined with the OLCD’s robustness and ability to conform to small and large surfaces, bring unique benefits to products and unlock design freedom that is not possible with glass displays. The experts from Cambridge are already supplying small and large area display prototypes to strategic partners for integration into the next generation of products. FlexEnable has already demonstrated plastic LCD displays with radius-of-curvature below 3cm, causing these partners to rethink where and how LCD displays can be used.

In parallel, FlexEnable is working with Asian display manufacturers to support the transfer of its OLCD platform into conventional flat panel display (FPD) lines, enabling a full range of plastic LCD display shapes and sizes. Due to the use of low-cost plastics and the low-temperature manufacturing process (below 100°C), FlexEnable’s technology is claimed to be the lowest cost flexible display technology available today. 

Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable, said: “With the development of the 12.1” display we have proven the scalability of our OLCD technology. While LCD is the dominant and trusted display technology in the market today, glass-based LCDs can’t deliver the conformability, robustness and thinness requirements in new applications we are seeing across many sectors including automotive, consumer electronics and wearables.”

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