Flexible TFT promises roll-up displays

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It’s hard to keep track of thebewildering blizzard of breakthroughs we’re currently seeing in flat-screen technology,with everything from OLED TVs to jumbo plasmas vying for our attention.

Nevertheless, a breakthrough from Japan'sNational Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) promisescheap and flexible TFT screens that could be suitable for flexible electronicpaper that might one day form the roll-up screens of our dreams [Japanese].

Printing, not etching

Working with the Japan ChemicalInnovation Institute (JCII), AIST has succeeded in creating a working 200dpi flexibleTFT using a printing technique instead of the traditional electronic circuitapproach.

The elements of the 6-inch-squareare embossed as microscopic patterns onto the plastic substrate in five layers,each as thin as 200nm, making it clear that we’re looking at a paper-likedisplay here.

AIST deputy director Kiyoshi Yasesaid, "For an organic TFT array made completely by printing, it is probably thefirst product in the world to have such a small substrate with a micro pattern."

If all goes well with the research,AIST could ready a larger, more capable version within 18 months and acommercial product by 2015.



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