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Samsung YOUM flexible OLEDs: technology explained
OLED is an emerging display technology that enables beautiful and efficient displays and lighting panels. Thin OLEDs are already being used in many mobile devices and TVs, and the next generation of these panels will be flexible and bendable.
In January 2013 Samsung officially launched their flexible OLED displays, calling them YOUM displays. The company showed several prototypes with curved, bendable and even foldable displays. Check out Samsung's YOUM demonstration from CES 2013 in the video below:
Here is the logo desiged by Samsung for YOUM displays, you can see how it suggests curved displays:
In October 2013, Samsung announced their first product to use a flexible OLED display - the Galaxy Round curved smartphone - with a a 5.7" Full-HD curved (400 mm curvature radius) flexible display. Samsung did not use the YOUM brand for this display, and in fact since then they released several flexible OLED devices - but never used the YOUM brand.
Will Samsung ever use the YOUM brand?
As we said above, Samsung have released several products (wearables and smartphones) that adopt plastic-based flexible OLED displays - but none use the YOUM brand. It seems that Samsung abandoned that branding effort and is now simply referring to those displays as flexible Super AMOLED panels.
How are YOUM panels fabricated
Samsung's flexible OLEDs are produced using a polyimide substrate, an LTPS backplane and a direct-emission (side-by-side) pixel structure. The production process is too hot for the plastic substrate (it will melt) and so the LTPS transistors are deposited on glass and the glass is later delaminated.
Samsung's real bottle neck in flexible OLED production is currently the encapsulation technology. Samsung is currently using Vitex's multi-layer technology which is very slow (the panel has to enter the evaporation chamber 6 times). Samsung is improving the Vitex process and is also evaluating Kateeva's YieldJET Flex ink-jet based encapsulation process, UDC's UniversalBarrier technology and Veeco's FAST-ALD.
The latest YOUM Flexible OLED News: