The Wall Street Journal recently announced that the Taiwan-based Industrial Technology Research Institute, or ITRI, won the top prize at the Wall Street Journal Innovation Awards for a manufacturing technique that would enable the commercial production of high-quality displays on flexible materials.
Flexible displays are displays that are made on materials that are light weight and can be bent or rolled, like paper. These displays have been an attractive technology for some time, but the manufacturing process has made it very difficult to produce the displays on a commercial scale.
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Please be sure to read our other articles, including Savant Introduces Touch TV Models With HD Displays and Vutec Presents 3D Ready Projection Screens. You can read the Wall Street Journal article here. Also, you can find more information on ITRI's official site.
Making a flexible display as fully function as a flat-panel computer screen is done by layering thin film transistors on a flexible substrate. Because the material is flexible, it can shift during the process. In order to prevent this, it is attached to a piece of glass. Once completed, the material is detached from the glass. However, this is a delicate process and very difficult to do without damaging the display. It is this part of the process that has made it difficult to produce these displays on a commercial level.
This is where ITRI comes in. The company has refined the process by adding a debonding layer in between the display and the glass. This layer is made from a nonahdesive material. The substrate for the display has an adhesive backing and is made slightly larger than the display's final size. Once the transistors are in place, the display can be cut from the excess substrate and lifted off the glass.
ITRI hasn't completely solved the problems with the manufacturing of flexible displays as the process is still delicate, but they have greatly improved the success rate and taken a step closer to bringing these products to commercial production.