Partners to accelerate inkjet uptake for large-size OLED TVs
Kateeva has developed novel inkjet printing equipment for OLED mass production and the non-exclusive agreement calls for Sumitomo to pair its world-class inks with Kateeva’s world-class YIELDjet platform to help speed affordable OLED TVs to market.
The collaboration aims to make it easier for display manufacturers to deploy inkjet-printed Red Green Blue (RGB) OLED for large-size TVs. Success depends on achieving a perfect interaction of advanced materials and cutting-edge mass-production equipment. Kateeva and Sumitomo will cooperate to co-develop high-quality reference data for customers. The partnership will encourage customers to apply Sumitomo inks and Kateeva’s inkjet OLED mass-production platform to optimize the manufacturing process to achieve optimum OLED device performance. Customers that select the Kateeva/Sumitomo equipment/ink combination will benefit from the assurance of a tested and optimized solution.
Kateeva’s YIELDjet platform is a critical enabler of OLED mass production. The YIELDjet FLEX product enables low-cost, high-yield Thin Film Encapsulation (TFE) for flexible OLED displays. It is the first product to emerge from the YIELDjet platform and offers an alternative to older less efficient vacuum evaporation technologies. The same platform can be applied to print RGB OLED TVs.
Sumitomo Chemical’s OLED material, which is the Polymer OLED (PLED) type, is suitable for printing, and enables effective mass production of large-size OLED displays.
Sumitomo’s PLED material has already achieved excellent performance for TV applications, and the company is continuously improving its material performance.
Kateeva Chief Technology Officer Steven Van Slyke described the partnership a key step forward for the OLED industry. “OLED TVs have long captivated consumers but remain beyond reach for many due to high production costs. Inkjet printing can change that, given the right combination of materials and equipment. Our collaboration with Sumitomo will speed high-performance inkjet-printed OLED devices to market by optimizing industry-leading materials and equipment to mass produce reliable, affordable OLED TVs,” explained Van Slyke.
Beyond flexible OLEDs, OLED TV is the next natural application for Kateeva’s YIELDjet platform. Joining forces with Sumitomo gives Kateeva a strategic lead in the fast-growing sector. The YIELDjet platform is an ideal solution, particularly by virtue of platform’s pure-nitrogen process chamber. Nitrogen is the ultimate OLED processing environment because the gas shields OLED materials from moisture and air (known degraders of quality), and enables superior device lifetime, especially in relation to a device’s T95 lifetime which describes the time it takes for a display element to lose five percent of its initial brightness. The most difficult customer spec to meet, it determines the resilience of the display against image burn in. The innovative nitrogen processing technology found in Kateeva’s YIELDjet platform improves T95, thereby enabling customers to more rapidly move inkjet OLED into mass production.
The Kateeva/Sumitomo partnership is intentionally non-exclusive. The partnership’s broader aim is to equip the global display industry with novel tools and technologies to help mainstream OLED TVs. Kateeva and Sumitomo are free to partner with others. For their part, customers may use Sumitomo inks with non-Kateeva inkjet printers, and Kateeva inkjet printers with inks provided by non-Sumitomo vendors.
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