B310846P

B310846P - View Online A P P L I C AT I O N...

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APPLICATION Journal of Materials Chemistry www.rsc.org/materials Engineered flms For display technologies William A. MacDonald DuPont Teijin Films, PO Box 2002 Wilton, Middlesbrough, UK TS90 8JF. E-mail: bill.a.macdonald@gbr.dupont.com Received 5th September 2003, Accepted 5th November 2003 First published as an Advance Article on the web 21st November 2003 Flexible displays and fexible electronics is an area gener- ating considerable interest at present. This article will discuss the requirements o± a base substrate ±or fexible displays and contrast the plastic ²lms that are being developed ±or this application. The review will cover how the sur±aces and properties o± the ²lms are being engineered to make them suitable ±or laying down barrier coatings and ±or laying down thin ²lm transistor arrays. The barrier technologies that are being developed and the issues ±acing the development o± a ‘‘fexible glass’’ will be discussed. Introduction There is currently considerable interest in fexible displays 1,2 and many electronic based companies currently are actively researching fexible displays based on primarily liquid crystal displays (LCD), 3–5 organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) 6–8 and electrophoretic displays. 9 An example oF a fexible OLED display is shown in ±ig. 1. ±lexible displays oFFer substantial rewards in terms oF being able to develop displays that are thinner, lighter, robust, conFormable andcanberolledawaywhennotrequired.Inadditionplasticbased substrates coupled with the recent developments in solution deposition and ink jet printing For laying down OLED materials 10 and active matrix thin ²lm transistor (T±Ts) arrays 11 open up the possibilityoFcosteFFective processing in high volumes using rollto roll processing. 12 To replace glass however, a plastic substrate needs to be able to oFFer the properties oF glass i.e. clarity, dimensional stability, thermal stability, barrier, solvent resistance, low coeF²cient oF thermal expansion (CLTE) coupled with a smooth surFace. No plastic ²lm oFFers all these properties so any plastic based substrate will almost certainly be a multilayer composite structure. 1,2 This review will discuss and contrast the leading candidates For plastic based fexible substrates and discuss the technologies being developed to meet the demanding barrier targets.ItshouldbenotedthatthisisaFastevolving²eldandsome oF the resultsdiscussed inthe literaturemay notrepresent whatthe fexible substrate suppliers would (or will in the Future) present as their preFerred tailored candidates. The author in this review has tried to present a comparison based on his knowledge oF the available substrates at this time. Polymer substrates This review will Focus only on plastic ²lms that have been given serious consideration as fexible substrates For fexible DOI : 10.1039/b310846p Bill MacDonald studied chemistry at The University of St Andrews and joined the ICI Plastic Divi- sion in 1980. He was initially involved in research into advance materials, primarily liquid crys-
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B310846P - View Online A P P L I C AT I O N...

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