Kateeva was established in 2008 at MIT with an aim to pioneer OLED ink-jet deposition processes.
The company developed innovative inkjet printing equipment, branded as YIELDJet printers. Kateeva started to offer ink-jet based encapsulation systems in 2014, used to protect flexible OLED panels. Kateeva's encapsulation performance is excellent and it was already reported that these systems are used in flexible OLED mass production - and Kateeva claims that it takes a "commanding lead" in the OLED organic thin-film encapsulation (TEF) market.
In 2017 Kateeva formally introduced its inkjet equipment for large-area RGB OLED emitter deposition. Kateeva brands its new line as YIELDJet Explore and these systems are currently targeted for R&D lines and pilot lines.
Kateeva is also developing printers that can deposit quantum dot materials, and according to reports the company's equipment will be used by Samsung to deposit QDs for its QD-OLED TVs.
The latest Kateeva news:
US-based OLED inkjet printing developer Kateeva announced a massive layoff plan - the company will slash its staff by 144 employees, including a number of executives - its president, CMO and COO.
This is sad news - and surprising as well as Kateeva seems to be on the forefront of OLED inkjet printing. Kateeve raised over $125 million (including $88 million in 2016) and is working with Samsung, BOE, LG, Johua Printing and other companies. The company is leading with ink-jet printing of OLED encapsulation materials and was set to supply Samsung with the QD printing equipment for SDC's upcoming QD-OLED TV line.
According to a report from Korea, LG Display has halted production at one of its production lines at its E6 production fab, LG's 6-Gen flexible OLED line that commenced production at the end of 2018.
According to the report, the problem lies with LGD's thin film encapsulation equipment - specifically the equipment that deposited the organic particles - which apparently suffers from sub par performance, not good enough for commercial production. LG is using equipment made by its subsidiary LG PRI in the E6-1 line, which is now halted.
Guangdong Juhua Printing Display Technology was established in 2016 by CSOT and Tianma with an aim to develop OLED ink-jet printing technologies and enable companies in China to collaborate on this technology.
While TCL-owned CSOT already announced that it is collaborating with Kateeva (and others), it was not clear whether Juhua Printing Display was also using Kateeva's printers, but we now have confirmation that indeed the China-based consortium is based on Kateeva's printers. This is obviously a major win for Kateeva, who is also working with BOE and Samsung, among others.
Samsung progresses with its inkjet printing OLED technology, to apply it to next-generation monitors and laptops
According to ETNews, Samsung Display has made significant progress with its OLED ink-jet printing process technology, and the company now aims to apply this technology to produce medium-sized panels for OLED laptops and OLED monitors. Samsung may also use this process to produce smaller tablet displays.
It seems that Samsung is aiming to settle on three main next-generation OLED technologies - evaporation (FMM) OLEDs for small-sized display, ink-jet OLED deposition for medium-sized panels and hybrid QD-OLEDs for large-area OLED TV panels. It's other display technologies are QD-LEDs for TVs and Micro-LEDs for next-generation small and large area displays.
Samsung Display is developing hybrid QD-OLED TV technology, and according to estimates, the company aims to begin trial production in 2019. It is also estimated that Samsung has several challenges to overcome, but according to new reports from Digitimes, Samsung is aiming to start installing equipment for the new fab as early as December 2018.
The new fab will begin operation in the second half of 2019 - pilot production at first which will be expanded to full scale mass production. The new fab will be built in Samsung's L8 LCD production line in Asan, and will take over one of the two lines currently in operation at the fab. Samsung's initial production capacity will be around 25,000 monthly G8 substrates.
In February 2018 it was first reported that Samsung Display is developing TV panels based on hybrid quantum-dots and OLED architecture (QD-OLED). Samsung later confirmed it is developing such technology, but with no immediate plans to commercialize it.
ETNews now reports that Samsung is now working to establish a pilot 8-Gen line for QD-OLED production. ETNews says that Samsung is collaborating with both Canon Tokki and Kateeva to develop the production equipment - apparently the OLED layers will be evaporated using Canon's machines while the QD filters will be deposited using ink-jet printing equipment made by Kateeva. Samsung aims to finalize the production line by the second half of 2019.
CSoT details its OLED ink-jet printing plans, collaborates with Kateeva, Sumitomo, Merck, DuPont and Tianma
Last month CSoT (TCL) announced plans to establish a 11-Gen LCD+OLED TV fab in Shenzhen, China. Details on the OLED part of that fab were not given, but now we have some updates following the company's investor day.
The new fab will use Oxide-TFT backplanes, and it turns out that the OLED part of the fab will also use the 11-Gen substrates (which may be cut for the actual OLED front plane deposition). Out of the entire capacity of 90,000 monthly substrates, the OLED line will use 20,000 substrates. The fab will start mass production in 2021.
Pixelligent raised $7.6 million, is working with Kateeva to adopt its materials for OLED inkjet printing
US-based high-index material maker Pixelligent Technologies announced it raised $7.6 million in a new funding round that will help the company to further drive its product commercialization and accelerate global customer adoption.
This round was led by the Abell Foundation, and included other Baltimore-based investors. This found also included strategic investments from Kateeva and Japan-based advanced material producer Tokyo Ohka Kogyo.
Prof. Ching Tang and Steven Van Slyke inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame for their work on OLEDs
Professor Ching Tang from the University of Rochester and Steven Van Slyke, currently the Chief Technology Officer at Kateeva have been inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame for their pioneering work on OLEDs. Both Steven and Tang worked on OLED displays as research scientists at Eastman Kodak.
The US National Investors Hall of Fame was founded in 1973, and more than 500 men and women who conceived, patented, and advanced some of the most groundbreaking technological achievements in the United States has been induced so far.
Many OLED producers believe that Ink-Jet printing of OLED emissive materials is the best way to achieve lower-cost OLED TV production, and to enable OLEDs to compete in the medium part of the TV market. Ink-Jet printing is an efficient process (less material waste compared to evaporation) and it can be very quick as well. The main drawbacks of inkjet are the limited resolution and the need for soluble emissive materials which are less efficient compared to evaporation ones.
A Kateeva OLED ink-jet printing system
These challenges are being overcome, and it seems that at least four groups (in Korea, Japan and China) are charging forward towards mass production of ink-jet printed OLEDs. Ink-jet printer makers and soluble material suppliers are also optimistic ink-jet printing commercialization will soon be here as the material performance gap is diminishing.