Skip to main content

ASU engineers help advance flexible electronics technology

May 18, 2011

A major advance in the performance and production of flexible electronics technology has been made by the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University and the Universal Display Corporation.

Together they’ve fabricated prototypes of full-color, flexible active matrix organic light-emitting diode displays using a new manufacturing process.

It’s a big step toward inexpensive and environmentally safe manufacture of thinner, more lightweight and bendable mobile computers and other information and communications devices, said Flexible Display Center director Nicholas Colaneri.

The achievement is the result of combining Universal Display’s full-color, top-emission phosphorescent organic light-emitting diode materials and technology with a manufacturing process developed by Flexible Display Center researchers.

The center’s bond/de-bond method can be used with a variety of high-performance plastic materials as a substrate – or platform – on which electronic circuits can be fabricated.

The method works in concert with Universal Display’s single-layer encapsulation technology, which provides a barrier to protect electronic display devices from moisture, oxygen and other environmental factors that can hinder the performance of the devices.

The success of the project with Universal Display validates the effectiveness of the bond/de-bond production process, making it a leading option for use in mass production of flexible electronics, Colaneri said.

Faculty members and students in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering contributed to research leading to the advances.

Jesmin Haq, who recently earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering, helped develop the bond/de-bond process that enables the manufacture of electronic devices directly on flexible plastic substrates.

Michael Marrs, a Flexible Display Center staff member who is pursuing a master’s degree in chemical engineering, has been working on the deposition and etching of materials used in making high-performance electronic devices.

Additional contributions were made by electrical engineering professor David Allee and students working under his direction.

Supported through a 10-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Army, the Flexible Display Center is working with more the 30 industry partners to develop and deploy high-performance flexible electronic technologies for the U.S. military and for commercialization by industry.

Universal Display is a leader in development and delivery of state-of-the-art organic light-emitting device technologies, materials and services to the electronic display and lighting industries.

Learn more:

• Universal Display Corporation news release.

• Information about the Flexible Display Center and Universal Display Corporation

Details about the the bond/de-bond process developed at the Flexible Display Center