OLED displays—long promised—are now a practical reality. Prized for its performance and low-power advantages, OLED is already the preferred display technology for smart phones, digital cameras and other mobile devices. In fact, by one estimate, mobile phone displays accounted for 71% of the US$4.9 billion 2012 OLED market. Within five years, it’s expected that more than half of all new phone displays will be OLED-based.
It’s already happening. 55” OLED TVs debuted in the summer of 2013, fulfilling the promise of a spectacular viewing experience—grander by far than LCDs—but with a steep price tag. Cost notwithstanding, reviewers raved about truer-than-life color and ultra-realistic image quality—made possible in part by the high contrast ratios enabled by OLED technology.
Flexible OLED displays are also picking up the pace. Here, the applications are limited only by the imagination of today’s product designers. Because unlike rigid OLED screens which are built on glass substrates, flexible OLED technology uses plastic substrates which enables companies to manufacture paper-thin, ultra-light products in a variety of shapes to suit the application purpose. Think wearable consumer electronics like smart watches.
The engine of future OLED Display Innovation is inkjet printing—a proven technology, long established in graphics arts and now-re-imagined as a manufacturing solution for OLED mass production. When optimized with novel hardware and process techniques, and leveraging new ink innovations by OLED materials companies, inkjet printing enables flexible and large-scale OLEDs to be manufactured over broad areas and in high volume—with higher yields and lower production costs.
That’s Kateeva’s sweet spot.