Germany’s Merck and FlexEnable Find Plastic LCD

13.02.2015 -

German chemical and pharmaceuticals producer Merck KGaA and its UK cooperation partner, flexible electronics specialist FlexEnable, a unit of Plastic Logic, have developed a plastic LCD that substitutes organic transistors on a plastic sheet for glass.

This new development offers multiple benefits, Merck said. In particular, plastic LCDs have the potential to make products ten times thinner, more than ten times lighter, and cheaper than conventional glass-based displays, while delivering differentiating product benefits of being shatterproof and even conformal.

The demonstrator said to have been developed in a very short time frame combines the key benefits of organic transistor technology (OTFT), including superior quality and yield. Ultimately, Merck said, it shows a route to low-cost solutions for volume manufacturing with LCDs, the dominant display technology in the market today.

FlexEnable has now demonstrated the world's first plastic LCD with active-matrix in-plane switching (IPS), using the UK company's OTFT array with liquid crystal (LC) and organic semiconductor materials produced by Merck.

While the first demonstrator employs an IPS mode, the developers believe the concept will be equally attractive for many other LC modes and applications such as e-readers, dynamic public signage and advertising.

In addition to Merck and FlexEnable, other project partners included display technology experts from the institute for large area microelectronics at Germany's University of Stuttgart, German plastic film supplier LOFO High Tech Film, specialized resist supplier Micro Resist Technology, also of Germany, and Israel-based backlight supplier Etkes and Sons. The project was co-funded by the EU's Seventh Framework Program.


Merck KGaA

Frankfurter Str. 250
64293 Darmstadt