UK unveils Gen2 backplane production line

Sara Ver-Bruggen - 17 Dec 2012

The UK government-funded Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has invested in a piloting line for display backplane development and production on Gen2 substrate sizes.

In addition to the large area coating line for OLED lighting and OPVs, pictured, CPI is installing a Gen2 display backplane line. Source: CPIThe line will be used by CPI and its commercial partners to develop new backplane technologies as well as other large-area electronic devices, such as sensor arrays, on flexible substrates.

The display industry demands that development work is done on Gen2 substrate sizes before scaling up to production. The new backplane line's equipment set includes typical display production processes such as sputtering, lithography, as well as inline inspection systems for defect analysis, to improve yields.


The Gen2 lines should be operational in mid-March 2013 and UK companies developing flexible display technologies are expected to make use of the asset initially as part of government funded projects. They include HP Labs in Bristol, which has been working on a highly reflective low power display.

Flexible backplanes will be processed on plastic bonded onto glass, to exploit existing production toolsets such as robotic systems that are designed to handle glass substrates during display production.

The line will support the emerging flexible display industry using existing batch processing over the next 3-7 years. It complements and expands CPI's existing printed electronics services and equipment, which includes the Printed Electronics Technology Centre (PETEC), set up in 2009, and a large area coating line that uses MBraun tools for developing OLED lighting and organic solar cell devices.

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