SmartKem delivers first industrial Gen 2.5 OTFT process to Asia


SmartKem (Manchester, UK), a world-leader in the design, synthesis and supply of high performance organic semiconductors and organic thin film transistor (OTFT) technology, is collaborating with partners in Asia to deliver the world’s thinnest and most robust industrialised display backplane technology on the market today.

SmartKem has now finalised an industrial grade process for the mass production of OTFT backplanes on large area glass or plastic. This has been achieved using its bespoke pilot line, based at the UK’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and its synthesis and formulation Technology Centre based at Hexagon Tower in Manchester. The approved process is now being transferred to its production partners in Asia.

SmartKem CEO, Steve Kelly, said: “This is an important stage gate for SmartKem and for the adoption of our truFLEX  semiconductor platform. By proving the industrialisation process, at Gen 2.5 scale (400x500mm) we are now firmly positioned to enter mass production and scale up to larger plate sizes for the production of an exciting range of new and improved LC and OLED display-based products.

“We now have routes to the end product brands with what we believe is the world’s thinnest and most robust TFT platform on the market. When you add this to the benefits of the significant display power saving that truFLEX offers, it’s attracting a lot of interest from smartwatch, wearable and smartphone brands for real value added display based products. This new range of products will be sleek, conformal and cut the device power consumption by at least a half – this puts us in great shape to strengthen our position in the market to meet the demand we are seeing from LC and OLED display makers in Asia for our materials.”

The molecular design, synthesis and formulation of SmartKem’s materials is performed at its bespoke Manchester Technology Centre whilst a dedicated industrialisation team based at CPI then refines the material platform to its dedicated OTFT Gen 2.5 pilot line. This generates a pre-production process of record (POR) for direct transfer to repurposed a-Si production lines.

SmartKem’s industrialised Gen 2.5 POR is now undergoing transfer to customer production lines for the manufacture of product prototypes and scaled display production. It is anticipated that the first display products manufactured through this collaboration will hit the Asian market within 12-18 months.

Caption: SmartKem has developed a world leading organic semiconductor TFT technology for the manufacture of new and improved high performance LC and OLED displays. (photo: SmartKem)

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