July 7, 2017: Japan-based chemical giant Sumitomo Chemical have developed new technology to facilitate cost efficient OLED display manufacturing. The new materials and equipment could possibly bring down the current production cost of OLED panels by 50%, the company claims, which will further reduce the selling prices of OLED TVs and expand the penetration of OLED products.
Sumitomo Chemical has introduced macromolecular materials that can be used for emissive layers in OLED panels. With the macromolecular materials, OLED panels can be manufactured through efficient inkjet printing technology. As compared to small molecule organic LED (SMOLED), the new PLED technology integrates red, green and blue emissive layers into a single white emitter and helps simpler OLED printing processes.
Majority of OLED manufacturers adopt evaporation-based process, in which red, green and blue emitters get evaporated and deposite onto glass substrates under vacuum. However, it requires expensive equipment and fails to keep most of the materials, leading to high production cost. On the other, the OLED printing process also meets technological hurdles during the coating process of large-sized panel production.
The chemical company will be able to print its single emissive layers onto glass substrates evenly. To put the PLED technology into practice, it also constructed new printing equipment.
The new OLED technology will be co-developed by Sumitomo Chemical, JOLED, and overseas display makers. JOLED’s 21.6 inch OLED displays for medical monitors will be shipped in fall 2017. LG Display will use this new technology in its OLED TVs.
The first printed 4K OLED display has a size of 21.6 inches. It will be useful for medical monitors and television, gaming and other uses. JOLED has already received orders from Sony. Japan Display Inc. said that the OLED printing technology is likely to be used in the production of mid-sized displays in the future.