BERLIN Plastic Logic on Wednesday will formally open the industry's first organic electronics manufacturing plant in Dresden, Germany, to produce plastic electronic displays, or e-displays, for handheld readers the size of a sheet of A4 paper.
The startup venture, which is funded by Oak Investment Partners and Amadeus Capital Partners, faces a substantial technical challenge as it irons out a novel manufacturing process for high volume production.
Konrad Herre, VP of manufacturing for Plastic Logic in Dresden, said his team worked with display equipment vendors to modify existing tools to accommodate the electronic display manufacturing process.
"A lot of our equipment is based on standardized modules like those in the flat panel industry, but modified for our processes," he said.
E-displays are not made like semiconductors, conventional displays or OLEDs, but they share synergies with those technologies.
Process sequences are unique because the base plastic material is not processed like silicon. "The materials we use are not silicon-based, but based on specially-developed polymers with behavior like semiconductors," Herre said.
Some steps may have similarities with the chip process, but they differ. For example, a direct laser writing approach is used on the flexible substrate instead of conventional photolithography.
"The biggest challenge will be installing the process on the equipment and fine tuning it so that in total it all fits together," he said.