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Roll-to-Roll (R2R) Manufacturing of Flexible Displays

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Flexible paper-like displays will replace the use of print on paper in many applications such as books, newspapers, and calendars. The required attributes of these new displays are readability in a variety of lighting conditions, low power consumption (bi-stability), light weight, mechanical toughness, and low cost. R2R manufacturing of the backplanes that address the display can enable many of these attributes. Patterning and aligning the micron scale features required for the backplane’s transistors on kilometer long rolls of dimensional unstable plastic has stymied this production method.

Hewlett-Packard Laboratories and PowerFilm Solar are working towards large-area arrays of thin film transistors (TFTs) on polymer substrates using roll-to-roll (R2R) processes exclusively. The approach combines plasma deposition and etching with self-aligned imprint lithography (SAIL).

SAIL solves the challenge of patterning and aligning micron-sized features on meter-scale substrates by encoding the geometry for all of the patterning steps into discrete heights of a 3-dimensional masking structure. The 3-dimensional mask is imprinted on the film stack in advance of patterning and maintains alignment regardless of process-induced substrate distortion.

Prototype displays manufactured with this technology will be demonstrated and the equipment and processes used in their fabrication will be elaborated.

Photo of Carl Taussig

Carl Taussig

HP Labs

Carl Taussig is director of the Information Surfaces Lab at HP Labs, the company’s central research and development arm, where he leads HP’s advanced research on paper-like displays including front-plane and back-plane materials and architectures as well as roll-to-roll manufacturing methods.

During his 20 years at HP, Taussig has focused on storage technologies including hard disk, helical scan tape, probe storage and optical disk. Taussig led the HP team that developed the technology that enables ROM-compatible rewritable DVDs. This technology is the basis for the DVD+RW format.

Taussig received a bachelor of science from Stanford University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all in mechanical engineering. Taussig has more than 50 patents and 15 publications.

Research interests:
Paper-like displays, architectures and roll-to-roll manufacturing methods. Carl previously conducted research in storage technologies and led the team that developed the technology that is the basis for the DVD+RW format.

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