In October 2014 we posted an interview with AIXTRON's business development director and he explains the company's OLED technology and business.
The latest APEVA (Aixtron) OLED news:
Back in January 2014 Aixtron and Manz announced they will co-develop solutions for efficient OLED production, based on Aixtron's OVPD technology - specifically a Gen-8 (2300x2500 mm) system. During a recent conference call, Aixtron said that the Gen-8 tool is still in qualification and it seems that it will take some time before this is ready to commercialization. Aixtron is however "very optimistic" regarding the business aspects of OVPD.
Aixtron recently installed an R&D "cluster" at their clean-room that demonstrates the core processes used to produce organic semiconductors (deposition of OLEDs and flexible electronics). The Gen-1 (200x200 mm) cluster is built around three OVPD systems embedded in an automated cluster environment.
Aixtron installed an R&D "cluster" at their clean-room that demonstrates the core processes used to produce organic semiconductors (deposition of OLEDs and flexible electronics). This new system offers industrial customers (and research partners) an integrated environment that shows off the company's core technologies.
The cluster includes several process modules and supports Gen-1 substrates (200x200 mm). The cluster is built around three OVPD systems embedded in an automated cluster environment and supplemented by various process modules and relevant infrastructure.
Aixtron says that together with Manz, they plan to develop a Gen-8 (2300x2500 mm) system that can deposit OLED materials efficiently. Aixtron's part in this collaboration is the further development of OVPD process technology, while Manz will contribute its experience in purifying and handling large-scale glass substrates and the development and manufacturing of large vacuum systems. Aixtron and Manz will assemble a demonstration Gen-8 system in the coming months at one of Aixtrons's clean rooms.
My friend Kevin Kuepper works at Aixtron, and he is a hobbyist race-car driver at KuepperRacing, a family-owned BMW racing team that's been competing since 1988. Kevin is also an OLED-Info fan, and he placed an OLED-Info sticker on his BMW, which is really cool:
Kevin's recent race (where the photos were taken) was a Nurburgring. This race is made up of two racetracks, the Nordschleife (opened in 1927) and the Grand Prix Circuit inaugurated in 1984. Those two circuits (which can be driven in combination) are about 26 km all together - this is the longest permanent racetrack in the world.
Aixtron announced that the European Smartonics project (which aims to develop smart machines, tools and processes for the precision synthesis of materials for organic electronics) will use the company's OVPD evaporation process and roll-to-roll printing machines. Aixtron is one of the project's partners and they will develop a small R&D OVPD cluster system that will use the company's latest 200 mm R&D platform, which is optimized and qualified for manufacturing of organic photovoltaic devices.
OVPD (Organic Vapor Phase Deposition) organic material deposition technology was developed by Universal Display. Aixtron holds an exclusive license to produce OVPD manufacturing equipment.
Aixtron announced that it has delivered a production-scale PRODOS Gen-3.5 Polymer Vapor Phase Deposition (PVPD) system to a major prestigious Asian customer. This system will be used to produce novel flexible electronic devices through the deposition of organic polymer thin films. The system will be commissioned within the next couple of weeks.
Aixtron says that the new system has been designed to be a perfect match for the customer’s production environment for Gen-3.5 substrates (650x750mm²). Aixtron wouldn't say who's the customer or what will be produced on the equipment, but they do say that the customer will be able to develop new applications including "flexible flat panel displays with benefits such as lightweight, ruggedness, low power consumption, color brightness, and superior legibility".
Aixtron launched a new Polymer Vapor Phase Deposition (PVDP) R&D system for flexible organic thin film material deposition. The PRODOS-200 features high deposition rates, high contour conformity of the deposited layers and unrestricted scalability based on Aixtron's Close Coupled Showerhead technology. The substrate size is up to 200x200 mm2.
Aixtron says that the new system can be used to develop new processes (or improve existing ones) in organic electronics that may enable the creation of new conductive and flexible layers, manipulation of surface properties and flexible barrier layers.The new system is compatible with Aixtron's OVPD R&D line equipment, and so can be used to create new compounds for OLEDs, OPVs and OTFTs.
Digitimes has an interesting five part interview with Paul Hyland, President and CEO of Aixtron, and Dr. William (“Bill”) Elder, Executive Vice President at Aixtron.
From the interview -
I think the potential we’re talking about for OLED technology is still very valid...the incumbent technology getting progressively better and better and pushing new technology further out. But it will come.
The industry is still coming to terms with the chemistry of OLED and therefore the process, which means mastering the yield, the throughput, the lifetime. These are all factors that have to be addressed before OLED technology will enter the commercial market, and if the chemistry changes, then the process and the equipment have to be adjusted accordingly. I don’t think it’s open for me. I’m quite certain that OLED technology will be a player. For me, it’s a question of the timing.
Has there been any development in the last 12 months? Well, we’ve continued to work with our partners, both in terms of government and European funded programs, and commercial customers such as RitDisplay. That activity is continuing. If there is a development, then it would probably be increased interest and focus on OLED as a lighting source.