SOURCE: The Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University

The Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University

May 18, 2010 00:01 ET

Sunic Systems and the Flexible Display Center Enter Strategic Partnership to Advance Flexible Color OLED Development

TEMPE, AZ--(Marketwire - May 18, 2010) -  The Flexible Display Center (FDC) at Arizona State University today announced that Sunic System, Ltd. (Sunic) has become an industry partner of the FDC and the two companies will jointly pursue the development of flexible organic light emitting diode (OLED) and electronics technologies. As part of the agreement, the FDC has purchased a Gen-II OLED SUNICEL Plus 400 vacuum evaporation and encapsulation process tool from Sunic for its Tempe development facility. The companies will collaborate to improve the processes and tools related to the manufacture of flexible displays and electronics.

"Bringing in Sunic as a member of the Flexible Display Center gives us a unique capability in the United States by enabling our partner companies to pursue the implementation of novel materials into OLED devices on the Sunicel Plus system," said Nick Colaneri, director of the FDC. "This capability will advance development of flexible OLED displays, flexible OLED solid-state lighting as well as plastic electronics such as RFID and sensors, enabling these applications to be more rugged, lightweight and thin while delivering higher performance, vibrant colors and video capabilities, all improved features for flexible OLED technology."

The SUNICEL Plus system is designed to simplify OLED technology development and manufacturing, and is equipped to handle plastic substrates without interrupting the vacuum process. The system enables full color active matrix OLED (AMOLED) and mono-color panel production with high electro luminescence (EL) performance and long lifetime. The FDC's bond-debond process allows the flexible displays to be processed on rigid substrates so no tool reconfiguration is required, while the fact that OLEDs can be manufactured at close to room temperature makes it an ideal technology for implementation on plastic substrates.

"We have joined with the FDC as we see an opportunity to accelerate the advancement of flexible OLED devices because of the unique nature of the Center," said Hoon Lim, president of Sunic. "Flexible display technology is rapidly moving from the development phase towards becoming a manufacturing technology and our tool offers an ideal stepping stone for this migration. We envision that flexible OLED production could become a reality within the next few years and expect our work with the FDC and its partner companies to offer significant contributions towards meeting this target."

The two companies are already actively engaged in research and development activities. The deposition tool will be installed at the FDC facility in Tempe in the fall of this year with prototype devices anticipated in the first quarter of 2011. To support the partnership, Sunic will also open a U.S.-based office onsite at the FDC.

Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University
The FDC is a government -- industry -- academia partnership that's advancing full-color flexible display technology and fostering development of a manufacturing ecosystem to support the rapidly growing market for flexible electronic displays. FDC partners include many of the world's leading providers of advanced display technology, materials and process equipment. The FDC is unique among the U.S. Army's University centers, having been formed through a 10-year cooperative agreement with Arizona State University in 2004. This adaptable agreement has enabled the FDC to create and implement a proven collaborative partnership model with 29 active industry members, and to successfully deploy world class wafer-scale R&D and GEN-II display-scale pilot production lines for rapid flexible display technology development and manufacturing supply chain commercialization. More information on the FDC can be found at http://flexdisplay.asu.edu.

Sunic Systems
Sunic System, Ltd. has supplied nearly 70 OLED evaporation process tools worldwide over the past ten years, the most of any manufacturer globally. Approximately 40 machines are in use by Korean companies, including Samsung and LG. The remaining 30 have been supplied to customers in Germany, France, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, including Fraunhofer IPMS in Germany and CEA/Leti in France. Applications range from passive and active matrix display, and lighting to photovoltaic devices for R&D, pilot manufacturing and production. Sunic is currently developing tools that can handle G4 or larger substrates and its equipment can accommodate both conventional glass encapsulation and newly adopted thin film encapsulations. For more information, please visit Sunic at http://www.sunic.co.kr.