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29 May, 2015 - 10:12 By Tony Quested

FlexEnable unveils a ‘Fab’ world first

FlexEnable makes manufacture of glass-free LCDs both practical and cost-effective for the first time

FlexEnable, the Cambridge Science Park flexible electronics pioneer, has announced a world first in display technology.

The company, fashioned by Indro Mukerjee out of Plastic Logic, has unveiled a technology breakthrough for the manufacture of full colour, organic liquid crystal displays (OLCD).

Mukerjee, the company’s chairman, says this makes the manufacture of glass-free LCDs both practical and cost-effective for the first time.

FlexEnable says it has developed the only technology that enables the manufacture of a TFT array directly on ultra-low cost plastics such as TAC (tri-acetyl cellulose).
These are the same films commonly used as a base for polarisers and compensation layers in everyday LCDs – resulting in the lowest cost process for flexible displays. 
This is made possible by the low temperature manufacturing process for the TFT array and will enable better front of screen performance than amorphous silicon, FlexEnable says.
The company will be showcasing a full colour, conformal IPS OLCD next week (June 2-4) at SID in San Jose – a display which is not only light and thin but also extremely robust, according to the company.
This demonstration of OLCD follows earlier ones of truly flexible OLED, EPD and image sensors. FlexEnable says its expanded suite of capabilities provides display manufacturers with options to upgrade their existing fabs.
The company has created FabEnable, a package of IP and services to transform the economics of existing fabs – for example by targeting under-utilised capacity. 
It is already working with display makers to demonstrate the economic benefits of converting to this truly flexible array technology.
Mukerjee said: “By bundling our profound know-how and experience in the industrialisation of flexible electronics, FlexEnable has created FabEnable, delivering significant returns to display makers through the upgrade of conventional FPD lines. 
“We enable FPD manufacturers to upgrade and diversify their existing lines with truly flexible electronics, bringing transformational economics to the manufacture of plastic displays in general.”

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