Flexible displays are entering the markets at an accelerating rate. These displays are revolutionizing user experience through high-performance organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) with the ability to bend and fold to enable significant advancement in the touchscreen industries, including smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, B2B displays, televisions, and more.
Flexible displays offer a unique experience and novel designs to maturing phone markets. Manufacturers from across the globe are innovating with these designs now hitting the market. For example, Samsung launched their Galaxy Fold in 2019 with upwards of half a million phones already sold with at least two other flexible models rumored to be in the works for an early 2020 launch. Meanwhile, Motorola is launching their much anticipated Razr phone, utilizing a flexible screen in a portrait geometry. Not to be outdone, Huawei launched the Mate X in November to much acclaim and market acceptance. Additionally, Royole has released numerous flexible display products and wearables, and Lenovo introduced the Thinkpad X1 Fold, a foldable laptop computer. Both Dell and Intel are also working in this area with foldable laptop computers with product concepts on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Given this flurry of activity across different platforms, manufacturers, and devices, we can expect much more from flexible displays in the future.
Halocarbon Electronic Solutions (HES) continues to influence everyday consumer experiences, as our fluorochemistry facilitates integral components for boundless innovation in modern flexible display technology.
Transparent Polyimide in Flexible Displays
Flexible displays replace glass altogether and use a highly engineered protective film called Transparent Polyimide (TPI), to both bond the OLED and function as the protective layer. The TPI variant used in flexible displays belongs to the broader polymer class of Polyimides which are strong and flexible but generally colored. Through advanced fluorochemistry the TPI is made transparent while still providing exceptional scratch resistance, flexibility, and strength, which are ideal properties for cutting-edge flexible displays. Additionally, the high-temperature tolerance of TPI promotes ease of processing as it enables manufacturers to safely and readily deposit OLED materials. Transparent polyimides are used in a variety of applications, including foldable smartphones and photovoltaic cells.
Halocarbon 6-FXY and 6-FDA in Transparent Polyimide
Synthesis of fluorinated polyimides, such as TPI, requires the monomer known as 6-FDA (hexafluoroisopropylidene diphthalic anhydride). 6-FDA is a highly engineered fluorinated material that serves as the key building block to TPIs to enable the strength, flexibility, and transparent nature of the final TPI. Moreover, the low water absorption character imparted by the 6-FDA makes this monomer particularly well-suited for robust use in a variety of applications. These fluorinated polyimides are prepared through polymerization of the 6-FDA monomer with aromatic and aliphatic diamines.
HES is a mass producer of the monomer precursor, 6-FXY, or 2,2-bis-(3,4-dimethylphenyl)-hexafluoropropane, which is essential to manufacture and develop aromatic monomers for fluorinated polyimide synthesis. 6-FXY is an integral component in the innovative fluorochemistry that enables the TPI needed for this booming market.
HES Fluorochemistry Driving Everyday Experiences
With the production of 6-FXY and other fluorochemical solutions, HES materials and formulations continue to drive everyday consumer experiences and propel the electronics market forward. 6-FDA and thus 6-FXY, for example, are also used in applications such as high-temperature polyimide composites for aerospace applications and low dielectric constant materials necessary for electronic packaging. These prove useful in a wide range of important features for 5G, autonomous vehicles, and the IoT.
HES is committed to providing a wide range of fluorochemical solutions for today’s most advanced electronics. Looking to learn more? Contact our sales manager for more information on our fluoroproducts.