Thin metal foils present an excellent alternative to polymers for the fabrication of large area, flexible displays. Their main advantage spurs from their ability to withstand higher temperatures during processing; microelectronic fabrication at elevated temperatures offers the ability to utilize a variety of crystallization processes for the active layer of devices and thermally grown gate dielectrics. This can lead to high performance (high mobility, low threshold voltage) low cost and highly reliable thin film transistors. In some cases, the conductive substrate can also be used to provide power to the active devices, thus reducing layout complexity.
This paper discusses the first successful attempt to design and fabricate a variety of active matrix organic light emitting diode displays on thin, flexible stainless steel foils. Different pixel architectures, such as two- and four-transistor implementations, and addressing modes, such as voltage- or current-driven schemese are examined.
This work clearly demonstrates the advantages associated with the fabrication of OLED displays on thin metal foils, which - through roll-to-roll processing - can potentially result in revolutionizing today's display processing, leading to a new generation of low cost, high performance versatile display systems.