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Keywords:

  • flexible electronics;
  • soft lithography;
  • nanoimprint lithography;
  • mass printing;
  • high-resolution printing

Abstract

In this report, the development of conventional, mass-printing strategies into high-resolution, alternative patterning techniques is reviewed with the focus on large-area patterning of flexible thin-film transistors (TFTs) for display applications. In the first part, conventional and digital printing techniques are introduced and categorized as far as their development is relevant for this application area. The limitations of conventional printing guides the reader to the second part of the progress report: alternative-lithographic patterning on low-cost flexible foils for the fabrication of flexible TFTs. Soft and nanoimprint lithography-based patterning techniques and their limitations are surveyed with respect to patterning on low-cost flexible foils. These show a shift from fabricating simple microlense structures to more complicated, high-resolution electronic devices. The development of alternative, low-temperature processable materials and the introduction of high-resolution patterning strategies will lead to the low-cost, self-aligned fabrication of flexible displays and solar cells from cheaper but better performing organic materials.