SOURCE: Industrial Technology Research Institute

Industrial Technology Research Institute

May 17, 2011 15:09 ET

ITRI's Flexible Substrate for Displays Receives SID Display Component of the Year Award -- First Technology to Allow for Mass Production and Development of Flexible and Transparent Displays of Any Size

Only Global Solution to Break Through the Problems Previously Associated With Flexible Displays

HSINCHU, TAIWAN--(Marketwire - May 17, 2011) - ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute), Taiwan's largest and one of the world's leading high-tech research and development institutions, will receive the Society for Information Display's (SID) Silver Display Component of the Year Award on May 18 in Los Angeles for its "High Performance Organic Inorganic Hybrid Plastic Substrate for Flexible Display and Electronics" (Flexible Substrate for Displays), the first and only technology to allow for the mass production and development of flexible and transparent displays of all/large sizes.

With the flexible display market predicted to surge from $280 million in 2010 to $5.9 billion in 2015 and $12.2 billion by 2017, according to a Display Bank report, a solution to propel the display industry into large-scale productions was needed.

"Resolving the challenges associated with flexible displays has been at the forefront of the electronic and material development industry for the past few years," said Dr. Jia-Ming Liu, deputy general director of ITRI's Material & Chemical Research Labs. "I am very proud of our team for developing this breakthrough technology and anticipate that major consumer electronic manufacturers will be interested in applying this material to their products."

The major problems were overheating and cloudiness. In the past, to fabricate transistors on flexible display substrates required high temperatures. However, when made on a soft substrate of plastic material (PEN/PES), the transistors couldn't withstand temperatures ranging from 200-300°C and were easily destroyed. Additionally, the transistors excessively shifted in position due to the plastics' high thermal expansion coefficient, furthering the problem.

In response to the issue, some researchers added approximately 30 percent of heat-resistant inorganic materials to the existing PI material to improve the substrate's resistance to heat. While this approach solved the initial problem, it turned the substrate yellow and cloudy, making the display less clear and bright.

But ITRI developed a unique process to combine the inorganic materials with the traditional organic materials. The researchers positioned the inorganic materials at the base of the substrate and then added the organic materials, which successfully increased the proportion of silicon dioxide in the inorganic material from 20-to-40 percent up to 60 percent.

This process greatly reduces the thermal expansion of the flexible transparent substrate under high-temperature conditions of up to 300 degrees, and also makes the substrate highly transparent so that the display is very clear, not yellow and cloudy.

ITRI's Flexible Substrate for Displays is compatible with existing TFT (Thin Film Transistor) infrastructures and processes and can be manufactured with either batch-type or roll-to-roll (R2R) processes. For batch-type processes, the substrate is prepared by coating the PI solution on glass carriers, and then fabricating TFT devices on the substrates. The PI/silica film exhibits excellent adhesion with silicon dioxide, silicon nitride and indium-tin-oxide without requiring any other primer or surface treatment process. For R2R processes, the ITRI substrate can be made with a variety of attractive properties, such as a low coefficient of thermal energy (CTE) of 20 ppm/ºC, high transmittance (90.2 percent, within the wavelength range of 400-700 nm) and excellent flexibility. To date, a flexible color filter, an active-matrix electrophoretic display (AM-EPD) and a flexible touch film have been made on the ITRI flexible substrate.

Companies interested in learning more about ITRI's Flexible Substrate for Displays technology can contact Ms. Jui-Chiao Chuang at NancyChuang@itri.org.tw.

Presented by the Society for Information Display (SID), the 2011 Display of the Year Awards (DYA) recognize innovative display products, components and applications that hold the most promise for shaping the future of the global display industry. The DYAs are awarded each year with Gold and Silver honors in three categories: Display of the Year, Display Application of the Year, and Display Component of the Year. This year's winners include Apple, Samsung and E Ink. ITRI is the only research institute to receive an award.

About the DYA
The Display of the Year Awards (DYA) are the most prestigious awards in the display industry. Each year since 1995, SID's International Awards Committee -- comprising a distinguished panel of display luminaries -- has honored the most innovative display products, components, and applications with the greatest promise of shaping the future of the display industry. This year's DYAs will be presented at the 49th SID International Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition, dubbed Display Week 2011 -- the premier international gathering of scientists, engineers, manufacturers and users in the field of electronic information displays. Display Week will be held May 15-20 in Los Angeles, Calif. For more information on the DYAs or Display Week 2011, please visit www.sid2011.org.

ABOUT SID
The Society of Information Display (SID) is the only professional organization focused on the display industry. In fact, by exclusively focusing on the advancement of electronic-display technology, SID provides a unique platform for industry collaboration, communication and training in all related technologies while showcasing the industry's best new products. With more than 6,000 members worldwide, the organization's members are professionals in the technical and business disciplines that relate to display research, design, manufacturing, applications, marketing and sales. To promote industry and academic technology development, while also educating consumers on the importance of displays, SID hosts more than 10 conferences a year, including Display Week, which brings industry and academia all under one roof to showcase technology that will shape the future. SID's global headquarters are located at 1475 S. Bascom Ave., Ste. 114, Campbell, CA 95008. For more information, visit www.sid.org.

About ITRI (www.itri.org.tw/eng)
Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is a nonprofit R&D organization engaging in applied research and technical services. Founded in 1973, ITRI has played a vital role in transforming Taiwan's economy from a labor-intensive industry to a high-tech industry. Numerous well-known, high-tech companies in Taiwan, such as leaders in the semiconductor industry TSMC and UMC, can trace their origins to ITRI.

Innovative Research
ITRI is a multidisciplinary research center, with six core laboratories, three focus centers, five linkage centers, several leading labs and various business development units. The six fields ITRI focuses on include Information and Communication; Electronics and Optoelectronics; Material, Chemical and Nanotechnologies; Medical Device and Biomedical Technologies; Mechanical and Systems; and Green Energy and Environment. ITRI has aggressively researched and developed countless next-generation technologies, including WIMAX wireless broadband, solar cells, RFID, light electric vehicles, flexible displays, 3-D ICs and telecare technologies. In addition, ITRI's Flexible Electronics Pilot Lab and Nanotechnology Lab provide international-level research platforms where R&D can be conducted jointly with partners. ITRI has also seen significant growth in intellectual property business and new ventures in recent years and is devoted to creating a model that would make Taiwan manufacturing even more competitive in the international arena.

Fostering Entrepreneurship and CEO Leadership
ITRI employs 5,656 personnel, including 1,204 who hold Ph.D.s and 3,079 with master's degrees, resulting in an average of five patents produced every day. By disseminating both technology and talent, ITRI has led the technology industry into the 21st century and has cultivated 70 CEOs in the local high-tech industry. In addition to its headquarters in Taiwan, ITRI has branch offices in the California Silicon Valley, Tokyo, Berlin and Moscow.

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