Large-Scale Manufacturing of Polymer Planarization Layers? Inkjet’s Got It!

Display innovation hardly missed a beat last year — even in the shadow of a global pandemic. This is particularly true for foldable, rollable, and even stretchable displays enabled by OLED technology. Since last Fall, leading brands including Samsung and Huawei released their newest foldable smartphones, and one manufacturer is even experimenting with foldable/rollable displays – in the same device.

The innovation momentum will undoubtedly enjoy a spotlight moment at Display Week 2021, with attention even extending to the equipment used to mass-produce the novel displays.

By happy coincidence, Advanced OLED Manufacturing was the featured “Frontline Tech” article in the March/April issue of Information Display magazine. It was authored by our own Chris Hauf and Lorenza Moro.

In rich detail, Chris & Lorenza explore the pivotal role of polymeric planarization layers in OLED thin film encapsulation (TFE), while examining the formidable technical challenges of manufacturing the layers in high volume. The article explains how inkjet printing is uniquely equipped to address the production imperatives of OLED TFE and enable films that meet the quality and yield standards set by display leaders.

Lorenza & Chris

OLED TFE is an application of significance for Kateeva. It is where our inkjet technology first proved its value as a breakthrough manufacturing equipment solution for OLED mass production. From a novel new technology solution, it quickly became a market-leading enabler of next-generation mobile OLED displays. Today, less than a decade after placing our first inkjet printing system in a mass-production display line, Kateeva’s tools are used to produce the screens found in virtually every high-end smartphone.

TFE remains a core application addressed by Kateeva’s inkjet printers. While our early tools were built for small-size substrates (Gen4.5 & below), our expanding portfolio includes printers to mass-produce TFE on larger substrates (Gen6 & above) as well.

As Chris and Lorenza point out, inkjet is a highly scalable manufacturing equipment solution with features that make it a natural precision deposition fit for TFE, as well as applications like RGB, QD, and other emerging display applications.

It is an informative read for the display manufacturing technology pro. Enjoy!