UK developer of organic semiconductor technology tru-FLEX® invests in compatible manufacturing processes for production lines with new appointment.

(St Asaph & Manchester, UK, 14th October 2015) UK-based SmartKem Ltd. has boosted its technology team for the market-leading organic semiconductor tru-FLEX® by appointing a new Industrialisation Manager, Mick Evans. This appointment is intended to support the increasing uptake of the company’s flexible thin-film transistor (TFT) platform technology in Asia; an integral region in the global display industry.

A key strength of the tru-FLEX® semiconductor platform is the ease and low cost of adoption into existing semiconductor production lines that already use solution coating techniques, such as slot die deposition systems, and Mick Evans’ experience will be central to enabling the adoption of tru- FLEX® with established manufacturers specifically in Asia.

The appointments follow a period of month-on-month growth for SmartKem that includes the signing of new business agreements in Asia. Evans’ appointment will assist with the delivery and continued growth against increasing demand from the Asian market for materials that enable the manufacture of flexible, high performance transistor backplanes.

SmartKem has seen significant growth in recent years, and in conjunction with the recent recruitment drive the company has also up-scaled its UK R&D operation by taking a further 5000 sq./ft. at its Manchester based facility at Hexagon Tower, Blackley. The development will allow the company to significantly accelerate critical scientific processes to feed the growing sales pipeline.

“We’re delighted to welcome Mick Evans into our team. His appointment as Industrialisation Manager means we can unlock his wealth of experience in delivering complex display engineering projects from concept to successful realisation, and it will help support our commercialisation strategy in Asia,” commented Steve Kelly, CEO of SmartKem. “Mick’s appointment clearly demonstrates our development and growth over recent months as we push to become the leading international provider of semiconductors for this exciting new era of flexible, foldable and low power displays.”

Mick Evans joins SmartKem with a wealth of industrial experience, most recently from Liquavista and Amazon, where he focused on developing electro-wetting display technology for readiness to transfer to manufacturing. Evans also has significant experience working in senior managerial and engineering roles with leading companies such as Philips and Samsung, concentrating on the development and commercialisation of display technology. “I’m delighted to be joining such an innovative company at such an exciting time; the SmartKem vision and the tru-FLEX® product together symbolise the future of the display and electronics industry,” commented Mick Evans, Industrialisation Manager, SmartKem.

SmartKem’s tru-FLEX® platform is an innovative semiconductor technology that has gained significant traction globally as the TFT technology of choice for display manufacturers seeking the next phase of added value in the consumer experience – the completely flexible and ultra-foldable electronic display.

A key strength of the tru-FLEX® TFT platform is that is can be adopted straight into existing display TFT backplane production lines commonly used by manufacturers in Asia without the need for any new equipment. SmartKem’s tru-FLEX® thus provides display manufacturers with a fully printable organic semiconductor ink that is solution processed at low temperatures to fabricate fully flexible TFT backplane arrays on plastic substrates. These TFT arrays can then be integrated as a pixel driver ‘backplane’ array with OLED, EPD and LCD ‘front planes’ for the manufacture of ultra-flexible, lightweight and low power displays for wearable, mobile and large area applications.