Japan Display announces a breakthrough lithographic-based OLED production method

Japan Display (JDI) announced that it has developed a new OLED deposition technology, which they refer to as eLEAP, that is cost effective and can be used to create OLEDs that are brighter, more efficient, and longer lasting compared to OLEDs produced using mask evaporation (FMM). eLEAP also enables OLED freeform deposition. JDI regards its new technology as a " historic breakthrough in display technology".

JDI eLEAP aperture ratio image

eLEAP is based on a lithographic method, and does not require any masks. The main advantage seems to be that OLED displays produced by eLEAP technology can achieve an aperture ratio of 60%, compared with FMM OLEDs which achieve a ratio of about 28%. This means that the OLED displays can be driven at lower currents - which extends the lifetime, improves the efficiency and also enables higher-peak brightness when needed.

Researchers use a 3D OLED pixel configuration to increase efficiency by up to 30%

Researchers from National Taiwan University, led by Prof. Chung-Chih Wu, have developed a 3D pixel configuration for OLED devices, which can improve the light extraction. The new design can improve the external quantum efficiency of a top-emitting OLED device by up to 30%.

Reflective 3D OLED pixel configuration (NTU)

The new design uses a 3D reflective pixel structure filled with a patterned high-index material. The researchers created several pixels with difference sizes, and found that the smaller the pixel, the higher the efficiency boost.

OLEDON developed a curved plane-source FMM technology that can be used to produce direct-emission 10,000 PPI OLED microdisplays

OLEDON says that it has developed a new curved plane-source evaporation shadow mask process that can be used for OLED microdisplay fabrication, with a potential density of 10,000 PPI (minimum shadow distance of 0.18um). Using this technology it will be possible to create direct-emission microdisplays.

In the video above, you can see the lecture OLEDON's CEO gave last month at iMID 2021, that explains the new technology.

Olum Material to develop 8.5-Gen FMM unit-cell masks

Korea-based OLUM Material announced that it is starting to develop fine metal masks (FMM) for 8.5-Gen (2200x2500 mm) OLED production. Current FMM technologies are limited to 6-Gen substrates (1500x1850 mm).

Olum Material unit cell FMM photo

As demand for larger mobile OLED displays, for laptops, tablets and monitors is on the rise, OLED makers aim to start making these panels on larger substrates. Samsung Display is considering, according to reports, a 8.5-Gen AMOLED fab dedicated for laptop and IT displays.

Philoptics launches a new project to develop innovative FMM masks built using Electro forming

Korea-based optical equipment maker Philoptics announced that it raised around $3.5 million that will be dedicated to the development of FMM technologies for OLED production. The company aims to raise a further $8.6 million by the end of the year to continue the development.

Philoptics will use the funds to finalize the development of 6-Gen FMM masks and build a pilot production line for these masks. Philoptics FMM production uses electro forming, where an invar is plated on a patterned substrate. The company says that using this method the FMM masks are thinner compared to other technologies which can increase the possible OLED resolutions under production.

OLUM Material launches its unit-cell FMM technology, to increase OLED production process efficiency

Korea-based OLUM Material announced a new FMM technology for OLED production, which the company refers to as Unit-Cell FMM, which enables high-efficiency deposition (and patterning) of evaporated OLED materials.

Olum Material unit cell FMM photo

The basic idea is to use a small FMM unit in front of every display panel, rather than a large FMM in front of the entire substrate. A large mask is useful for very fast production, but the large masks tend to sag and deform and so FMM production is limited in size.

V-Technology to start producing next-generation OLED fine metal masks, acquires OLED lighting maker Lumiotec

V-Technology announced that it is establishing a new organic electronics subsidiary that will develop a next-generation OLED deposition technology that V-Technology refers to as fine hybrid mask (FHM). Total investment in this new company is estimated at 5 billion Yen ($46 million USD) for the next 2-3 years. The facility is scheduled to be completed in August 2018 and V-Technology will start shipping mask samples in October 2018.

V-Technology FHM mask demonstration (Feb 2018)

V-Technology's FHM is based on an electroforming method and the masks have a non-tension structure. V-Technology says that the total mask weight will be one tenth of current regular FMM masks, which will lower bending dramatically. V-Technology's already demonstrated an FHM that achieves 738 PPI.

CPT and imec demonstrate an 1250 PPI OLED patterned using a photolithography process

Taiwan-based Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT), in collaboration with European research institute imec (in the framework of the Holst Centre collaboration) have demonstrated an ultra-high resolution OLED display that was patterned using photolithography - without the need for an FMM (metal mask). A photolithography process offers a high aperture ratio, large substrate sizes and good yield control.

FMM-free photolithography-made OLED prototype (CPT + imec)

The prototype display that was demonstrated is a passive display with a 1400x1400 resolution (or 1250 PPI!) of side-by-side orange and green OLEDs. imec reports that preliminary lifetime investigation shows operation of each color after patterning for a few hundred hours at more than 50% of the original brightness.

AP Systems achieves 1000 PPI with new FMM technology

At the iMID 2017 conference in Korea, AP Systems announced that it realized high density OLED evaporation using new FMM technologies. By adopting ultra-short pulse laser (USPL), AP Systems achieved a 1,000 PPI. Changing the pin-hole shapes, the company says this technology can even reach 1,170 PPI.

AP Systems 1000 PPI slide (IMID 2017)

High PPI OLEDs are especially important for VR applications, which require much higher pixel densities as the display is used very close to the eye. In May 2016 Samsung demonstrated a 5.5" 3840x2160 - which reaches 806 PPI, and according to reports Samsung were able to produce a 1,200 PPI AMOLED in March 2017.

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