Flexible Electronics for Rugged, Low Power Army Systems
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
Performance of silicon thin film transistors (TFTs) made with low temperature processes (<200 degrees C) on flexible polymer substrates cannot meet requirements for flexible electronics in rugged, low cost Army systems of the future. For example, higher performance and/or larger flexible displays require full motion video such as streaming data from a UAV or high information content and color imagery, presenting significant challenges for the AM TFT backplane and associated electronics.. While amorphous and polycrystalline silicon TFTs can be processed with acceptable performance and yield > 300 degrees C on glass or metal foil substrates, this is still too high for traditional plastic substrates. In Phase I, Versatilis successfully showed the feasibility of using Zinc Oxide (ZnO) as an alternative to Silicon for the active semiconductor channel in such TFT arrays. ZnO is readily available and cheap, and can be processed at low temperatures with high yields while delivering carrier mobility adequate for increased current density vs. drain voltage, with little or no threshold voltage shift vs. stress. In Phase II, Versatilis will extend this work to develop a robust, reproducible method for manufacturing ZnO based AM TFT backplanes, including integrated driver circuits, and deliver a number of such backplanes to ARL for integration with OLED frontplanes, producing a 6 in., 100 dpi flexible display demonstrator, a higher performance, lower cost alternative to silicon. The technology would be transferable to the Army's Flex Display Center at ASU for integration into Army's display initiative and/or licensable to commercial entities.
Small Business Information at Submission:
488 Ridgefield Rd Shelburne, VT 05482
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