English Abstract
Inkjet Technology and Soft Materials
Corporate R&D, Seiko Epson Corporation, Nagano-ken, JAPAN
Nippon Gomu Kyokaishi,(2006),79(8),419-425 General Review in Japanese

IT industry greatly depends on high-tech electronics devices using various advanced materials. Recently the devices using soft materials have appeared. These devices would have a great advantage over the conventional ones consisting of inorganic materials, if a simpler and less energy-consumed process is adopted. Micro liquid process (MLP), in which a precise thin film device can be directly formed from functional liquids without removing any materials afterward, would be a good candidate for the process above.
The process is often referred as an inkjet printing method.
First, details of MLP are introduced, in which four important sub-processes are highlighted. Then two devices, i.e. an organic-electroluminescence (OEL) device and an organic thin film transistor, are described as an example of the combination of soft materials and MLP. In the OLE device, conjugated polymers are directly patterned into small pixels by the inkjet method which is assisted by self-alignment force caused by surface energy. As a consequence patterning with high precision is achieved.
The same principle is applied to narrow channel formation of organic TFTs.
It is proved that the combination of soft materials and MLP is excellent so as to fabricate a new type of high-tech electronics devices with less materials and production energy.

TFT, OEL, Organic Transistor, Inkjet, Surface Energy, Active Matrix Drive