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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Gerwin Gelinck

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

Based on years of groundbreaking research in the field of organic electronics within Philips Research, which earlier led to world-first demonstrations of organics-based, functional RFID circuits and active-matrix displays, Philips is now capable of producing prototypes of ultrathin, large-area, rollable displays on a routine basis and intends to rapidly move towards an industrially feasible production process.

Lightweight, large-area displays that are unbreakable and can be rolled up into a small-sized housing when not actively used, are particularly attractive for mobile applications. Ultimately, large-area displays could become feasible, which are so flexible that they can be integrated into everyday objects like a pen. The availability of such displays would greatly stimulate the advance of electronic books, newspapers and magazines, and also new services offered by (third generation) mobile network operators. These applications currently depend on fragile, heavy and bulky laptops or small, low-resolution displays of mobile phones, which both have clear drawbacks.

We have demonstrated organics-based QVGA (320x240 pixels) active matrix displays with a diagonal of 5 inch, a resolution of 85 dpi and a bending radius of 2 cm. The displays combine a 25 micron thick active-matrix back plane, containing the polymer electronics-based pixel driving, with a 200 micron front plane of reflective “electronic ink” developed by E Ink Corporation. The resulting display represents the thinnest, and most flexible, active-matrix display reported to date. Moreover with close to 80,000 TFTs it is the largest organic electronics-based display yet, with the smallest pixel pitch reported to date. The displays are ideal candidates for reading-intensive applications because of their excellent, paper-like readability and extremely low power consumption.

Along with the displays, well-functioning shift registers, an important building block of display drivers, are published in the February 1 issue of Nature Materials. These shift registers are the largest functional circuits based on organic electronics reported to date. And, more importantly, they can be fabricated using the same process as used for the back plane TFTs, representing an important step towards the option to realize the complete display drivers on the same substrate as the display. This leads to more robust and reliable displays with smaller footprints and less external connections.

Brief Biography

Dr. G.H. Gelinck has over eight years experience in the field of polymer electronics. He holds a Ph.D degree in (photo)physics of electrical functional polymers from the Technical University of Delft. In 1998 he joined the Philips Research as a Senior Scientist where he is leading a team that develops a new transistor technology that uses polymeric and organic materials. He is the (co-)author of more than 25 scientific papers on electrical functional polymers and polymeric devices. In 2003 he is the co-founder of Polymer Vision, a business initiative in the Philips Technology Incubator.