Notion Systems is a leading supplier of industrial ink jet printing systems. The n.jet inkjet platform from Notion Systems is used to produce printed circuit boards, OLED & QLED displays, sensors and high-quality 3D parts.
We present the following interview with the Company's CEO and founder, Dr. Michael Doran.
Q: Hello Michael. Can you detail notion systems' offering for the OLED industry? We understand you offer R&D and production systems, for both RBG printing and TFE printing.
Notion Systems offers a system platform called n.jet display series that prints functional layers at various steps of display production and for a range of display technologies. These include rigid, flexible, OLED, QLED and micro displays. The platform meets the most stringent requirements for process environment and process stability.
Submicron printing precision, high repeatability and throughput are very important parameters for inkjet printing displays. Notion's inkjet printing systems are the key tool in our entire production process.
Several customers in Asia have chosen Notion among other suppliers because of the cutting-edge technology we offer.
The overall benefits of inkjet printing in the display industry are:
- Elimination and/or replacement of various process steps
- Material savings by printing only where needed: additive printing technology: not subtractive
- Provides opportunities to produce better quality displays (eliminates mura effects)
- Easy scalability for larger substrates
- Replaces other process steps (e. g. vacuum coating)
- Specially developed features such as no.mura printing technology solve long-standing industry challenges and enable efficient, additive use of the valuable materials needed to produce the next generation of displays.
We collaborate with leading institutes and device manufacturers. As an example, Fraunhofer IAP develops customized processes for OLED/QLED and micro-display manufacturers with tailor-made inks and analyzes the interaction of all important pre- and post-processing steps.
Notion Systems and its partner MBraun Inertgas-Systeme offer a fully integrated glove box for inert atmospheres that combines compact design with minimized nitrogen consumption.
Q: Notion Systems has years of experience with offering OLED inkjet printing systems, and has already delivered several such systems to leading customers in Asia. How do you estimate the IJP market today? What steps does the industry need to take to increase the commercialization of IJP processes?
The market for OLED inkjet printing is growing slowly, in our opinion, because there is already an installed base of existing production systems for manufacturing OLED displays. Many of these systems were very expensive and have not yet been depreciated. However, we see signals in the market that this will change in the next few years.
There are currently many developments to replace vapor deposition and vacuum coating systems with inkjet technology. Notion is investing heavily in the development of larger inkjet systems and last year delivered a Gen 6 system to a leading manufacturer. We strongly believe that together with our new major shareholder, RSBG AMT Group, we can achieve a leading position in the display industry within the next 5 years.
The display industry and universities need to invest more in inkjet technology. Notion offers several R&D platforms such as the n.jet lab printer for developing inkjet-printed displays.
What we should not forget is the sustainability factor. As mentioned at the beginning, inkjet technology saves a lot of costs such as investment, space and labor and reduces waste in OLED production by at least 50%.
Q: Earlier this year Notion started working with Scrona to co-develop high-resolution OLED inkjet printing. The limits on printing density of traditional IJP has been one of the main reasons why the technology is not more widely adopted. Can you update on this project? Do you have an estimate to the possible PPI that can be achieved?
Notion Systems entered into a cooperation with Scrona last year because EHD (Electrohydrodynamic) technology is a promising technology to reduce structure sizes to less than one micron and allows us to use higher viscosity inks. It supports the printing of high-density color filters, enabling the production of color micro-LED displays with structures of < 1 µm.
We are currently developing the first joint R&D system, which will be launched early next year.
Q: In June 2021 it was announced that RSBG acquired 75% of Notion System. How is this deal progressing, and what are the implications so far?
The progress is fantastic. The RSBG AMT approach is to buy and build. We leverage economies of scale, which means the RSBG AMT companies help each other grow. For example, we have merged service operations in Taiwan and the U.S. with one of our sister companies and will do the same in China early next year. In addition, we are currently planning our new headquarters in Schwetzingen, near Heidelberg, and hope to see each other in person for the inauguration ceremony.
In addition, RSBG AMT has acquired OSIRIS, a leading semiconductor equipment supplier from Germany, which is very active in micro-display manufacturing. The good thing is that we have been working together with this company for 2 years already.
Q: Lately we hear of very good advances in TADF material development (and HF emitter systems) which can be suited for IJP processes. Do you have any experience in working with such emitters?
Of course, we do. We are in contact with all leading material suppliers. The third-generation OLED material TADF promises high efficiencies without the use of heavy metals. In addition, TADF materials are typically available at a lower cost than fluorescent and phosphorescent materials. We will update you in one of our next tech reports on OLED-Info about the progress of the developments.
Thank you Michael! We hope to hear good news from Notion Systems in the near future!