April 19, 2006 – The US Display Consortium (USDC) and Princeton U.’s Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) have signed a two-year, $1.7 million agreement to develop amorphous silicon thin-film transistors (a-Si TFTs) on a clear, high temperature-capable polymer foil substrate.
The technology at the core of the program is clear, flexible polymer substrate that is capable of use at typical TFT semiconductor on glass processing temperatures >300˚C, beyond limits of organic substrates. During the first year of work, the participants aim to demonstrate an electrophoretic test array and an OLED test array on the plastic substrate. Researchers from Princeton have already demonstrated a-Si TFTs at 280˚C with performance nearly identical to typical TFTs made on glass.
Also participating in the project through USDC ties are Applied Materials’ AKT subsidiary (for scaling materials using fabrication tools) and Arizona State U.’s Flexible Display Center.
“This is the first USDC project to adapt current display industry ‘processing envelopes’ to polymer substrates in order to obtain TFT performance equivalent to that on glass,” stated M.R. Pinnel, chief technology officer for the USDC.