European Patent Office grants new patent to semiconductor specialist

22nd November 2016
Posted By : Anna Flockett
European Patent Office grants new patent to semiconductor specialist

Semiconductors from SmartKem enable the creation of thin film transistors (TFTs) on plastic, allowing the manufacture of truly flexible displays: screens that can bend, fold and operate at low power to serve end markets including smartphones, wearables and embedded and large area displays.

The new patent is for SmartKem’s semiconductor platform and will enhance the patent portfolio, which covers materials, processes and devices. It follows recent patent allowance for SmartKem’s semiconductor material in China - a key market for the roll-out of its technology platform with display manufacturers across Asia.

EPO patent recognition is strategically important for SmartKem as it prevents the imitation of its baseline technology. In addition, the patent provides added assurance to the market. EU scale-up partners recognise the adoption of SmartKem technology offers a compelling low risk route for them to gain and sustain a long-term competitive advantage in the Asian display market.

SmartKem CEO Steve Kelly said: “We are delighted to once again have our pioneering technology protected in a key region. This EPO recognition follows six years of work in industrialising our semiconductor platform to offer industry grade TFT performance for the manufacture of AMOLED (active matrix OLED) on plastic.”

Kelly added: “This patent further strengthens the ability of our partners and us to swiftly scale up our European operations in order to serve the display industry supply chain in Asia. The patent is testament to the industry knowledge and diligence of the SmartKem team. We look forward to utilising this expertise further as we achieve the wide scale market adoption of SmartKem semiconductors.”

The patent portfolio is accompanied by a number of joint development agreements with Asian display manufacturers. Together with its partners, SmartKem is trying to make possible the low temperature, solution-coat manufacture of thin film transistors (TFTs) for the production of an exciting new generation of flexible OLED display based products.

Other recent developments for SmartKem include a new world record for the speed at which its truFLEX technology works in transistor form.

Kelly added: “The global market for OLED, and particularly plastic and flexible OLED, is growing rapidly and is reliant on innovative technology. We remain focused on the industrialisation and commercialisation of our enabling semiconductor platform. This patent is further evidence of our commitment and suitability to drive innovation in this exciting industry.”

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