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Proceedings Paper

Compliant substrates for thin-film transistor backplanes
Author(s): Sigurd Wagner; Helena Gleskova; Eugene Y. Ma; Zhigang Suo
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Paper Abstract

The emergence of wearable electronics is leading away form glass substrates for the display backplane, to plastic and metal. At the same time the substrate thickness is reduced to make displays lighter. These two trends cooperate toward the development of compliant substrates, which are designed to off load mechanical stress from the active circuit onto the substrate. Compliant substrates made the circuit particularly rugged against rolling and bending. Design principles for compliant substrates include: (a) Moving the circuit p;lane as close as possible to the neutral plane of the structure, and (b) Using substrate and encapsulation materials with low stiffness. Design principle (a) is demonstrated on thin-film transistors made on thin steel foil. Such transistors function well after the foils are rolled to small radii of curvature. Principle (b) of compliant substrates is demonstrated with bending experiments of a-Si:H TFTs made on thin substrates of polyimide foil. TFTs on 25-micrometers thick polyimide foil may be bent to radii of curvature as low as 0.5 mm without failing. The reduction in bending radius, from R-2 mm on same- thickness steel foil, agrees with the theoretical prediction that changing from a stiff to a compliant substrate reduces the bending strain in the device plane by a factor of up to 5.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3636, Flat Panel Display Technology and Display Metrology, (12 April 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.344653
Show Author Affiliations
Sigurd Wagner, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Helena Gleskova, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Eugene Y. Ma, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Zhigang Suo, Princeton Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3636:
Flat Panel Display Technology and Display Metrology
Bruce Gnade; Edward F. Kelley, Editor(s)

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