FlexEnable, a provider of flexible organic electronics, has acquired Merck’s portfolio of high-performance Organic Thin-Film Transistor (OTFT) materials, including organic semiconductors and dielectrics.
The deal makes FlexEnable the first company to offer automotive display manufacturers both the only OTFT materials which are proven to have higher performance than amorphous silicon, and an entire package of industrially-proven manufacturing processes needed for production of flexible organic liquid crystal displays (OLCD) of any size.
The acquisition of Merck’s OTFT materials – now branded as FlexEnable FlexiOM – includes more than 300 patents covering materials, processes and devices. This brings FlexEnable’s total number of organic electronics patents to over 1,000.
FlexiOM materials, together with FlexEnable’s proprietary low-temperature processes, enable glass TFT backplanes to be replaced with flexible OTFT backplanes enabling thin, lightweight, shatterproof and flexible devices. The deal includes all of the ground-breaking IP and know-how developed by Merck over nearly 20 years, as well as the necessary materials supply chain.
“Across industries such as consumer electronics and automotive, flexible displays are the catalyst for the next generation of experiences and products,” said Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable. “We have been working closely with Merck’s organic materials portfolio and team for many years and we saw here a unique synergy with our expertise that would put us ahead of the competition to replace flat glass displays in what is currently a US$100bn addressable market.
“The addition of FlexiOM materials to our industry-leading processes will significantly increase our revenue opportunity and further strengthen our business model, while providing a rapid route for display makers to commercialise large-area flexible displays needed now for many applications,” Milligan added.