OLED manufacturers develop new color patterning technologies for large-area fab

May 10, 2012 -- Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) emerged on the display scene recently, gaining adopters in small screen sizes like smartphones, and just moving into large-size displays like 55” televisions in recent months (LG Electronics made one in December 2011; Samsung Electronics came out with one at CES in January 2012). OLED offers better power consumption, light emission, and clarity than liquid crystal displays (LCDs)

As OLED adoption ramps up, mass production technology for large-area OLED is increasingly an issue that could prohibit OLED from gaining market share on LCD. In current OLED manufacturing, color patterning is achieved by fine metal mask (FMM) using thermal evaporation, and laser-induced thermal imaging (LITI), which can be limited to small-size panels. Manufacturers are now looking for color patterning technologies -- from solution-based printing to laser imaging and layering white OLEDs with filters -- that suit display production at Gen-8 fabs or larger.

Also read: OLED trends: Materials, color patterning advances and the display race

Samsung Mobile Display (SMD) is developing small mask scanning (SMS) technology, which improves FMM color patterning. Hybrid patterning system (HPS) technology combines LITI and FMM, and is currently under development. LG is working on a method that combines white OLEDs with color filters (WOLED+C/F).

Displaybank issued a Korean patent analysis report regarding the OLED color patterning technology, comprising research and analysis about the patents of foreign companies in Korea as well as the key patents of Korea-based companies. 495 patents relating to OLED color patterning technology were selected in the primary screening among a total of 2,532 raw data disclosed or registered by December 2011. 52 key patents regarding SMS, HPS, Ink-jet, and WOLED+C/F technology were then analyzed as large-area OLED color patterning technologies. Learn more at http://www.displaybank.com/_eng/research/report_view.html?id=855&cate=2

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