Glass-like polymer-based cover windows for flexible electronics applications

Y. Matsuda
United States

Keywords: nanocomposite, flexible electronics, mechanical behaviors, cover windows


The flexible electronic device industry has experienced tremendous growth in the past decade. However, the market for flexible devices is still in its early stages and limited to high-end products such as foldable phones due partly to the complex design and manufacturing challenges. One of the most challenging aspects of design involves flexible cover windows (hard coats and underlying substrates) that must meet conflicting requirements of hardness and flexibility. Here, we present glass-like polymer nanocomposite hard coats and the design optimization of the cover windows for enhanced flexibility. The hard coat, fabricated through simple mixing and web coating processes, demonstrated optical transparency and exhibited among the highest in hardness and modulus as a silica-based polymer nanocomposite. Additionally, we present the design optimization of hard coats on a transparent polymer substrate, using a fracture mechanics-based approach for enhanced flexibility.