Notion Systems, a leader in ink jet printing for industrial applications, has been active in the display market for a long time. The company is now promoting its EHD technology for high precision printing. Here’s an interview we conducted with Antonio Schmidt – SVP Sales & Business Development and Jochen Seeser – Senior Process Development Manager, Notion Systems.
Hello Antonio and Jochen, thank you for your time. In 2022, you started offering EHD printing systems. Can you explain how this technology works and what applications does it enable in the display industry?
Notion Systems has been active in the display market since 2016, when we delivered an n.jet display for pixel printing to a lab of a leading display manufacturer in China. Since then, we have supplied several inkjet displays for RGB printing and encapsulation to various R&D and production sites in China and Taiwan. I think we can also claim that we are the only manufacturer, along with perhaps one other U.S. competitor, that has multiple systems in operation for 24x7 display production.
Notion is collaborating with Scrona, developers of EHD Printing heads. Can you update on this partnership?
Notion and Scrona launched a strategic partnership in 2021 to develop, build and market a laboratory system called n.jet EHD. The two companies combine Notion's expertise in developing and manufacturing high-end printing systems for functional materials with Scrona's novel multi-nozzle EHD MEMS print heads. The partnership between Notion and Scrona will promote this new technology in various applications such as display, electronics or semiconductor manufacturing. Notion Systems will manufacture and service the n.jet EHD Lab printer, primarily for high-level research and development facilities. The goal, of course, is to incorporate Scona's EHD technology into Notion's production platforms, such as the n.jet display or the n.jet semcion, in the medium term.
In 2022 Notion announced it shipped four EHD systems to customers in Europe. Can you detail the applications these systems are used for? How is the customers' reaction?
All systems are used for research and development of new display, semi- or micro-technology applications. EHD technology opens many new possibilities compared to traditional inkjet technology. The limit of inkjet is a structure size of 20 - 30 µm, while EHD can print structures of less than 1 µm.
EHD supports structure sizes even smaller than one micron. Do you see EHD technology finally enabling inkjet printing of OLED stack and emitter layers?
Regarding the trend in the display industry to minimize the pixel sizes (or increase the display resolution), we see a huge potential of the EHD technology to print several components inside OLED displays. Especially the EHD capability to print inks in a high viscosity range in micron size structures, is a step forward to enable printing the OLED emitter stack in high resolution displays (e.g., smartphones, smartwatches).
At sub-micron size, do you think EHD has a future in OLED/Micro LED micro display production?
EHD printing offers many opportunities for future OLED/micro display applications, e.g. micro-dispensing of OLED materials, printing of conductive layers or black mask. We currently have several R&D activities with leading display manufacturers in the lab.
Earlier this year we reported that Notion Systems is expanding its HQ and production space, as demand for its systems is on the rise. Can you comment on the current demand for your systems in the display industry?
Notion is currently building a new head quarter closed to our existing facility in Schwetzingen, which is 45 minutes south of Frankfurt airport. We will move in with operations end of Q3. It is necessary as we have very limited space in our current location. In addition to a larger operation area, we also prepared more space for our application lab and the customer training area.
By the way: The first system which will be built in our new facility is a multi-color GEN 6 pixel inkjet printer for a leading customer in Asia.
What is the main application for your display systems? Will that be QD deposition?
One of our main focuses will be the application of RGB layers, as this requires high-precision equipment in combination with a very intelligent and coordinated printing strategy. Notion always focuses on high-end applications.
Antonio and Jochen – thank you for this interview! We hope to hear more about EHD’s success in the display industry soon. For more information on Notion Systems and their solutions for the display industry, see notion-systems.com or download the company’s EHD printing brochure in the link below: