Stronger Shadow Masks Raise OLED Yields

Korean Inha University researchers have developed a new shadow mask production method, which may raise high-resolution (500ppi+) OLED yield rates. It is possible that the new technique could entirely replace the existing etching process or technologies for laser-based manufacturing.

The new technique uses an electrochemical processing method and enables surface processing and shaping, which is not possible today. It is thought that OLED yield rates could be raised by as much as 30% by reducing shadow mask failure rate.

The technology will be transferred to an unnamed company, where a joint study will be undertaken en route to commercialisation.

Display Daily Comment

One of the key issues with OLED manufacturing is the deposition of light-emitting materials. So far, most of the materials used are small molecule materials deposited by thermal means. Thermal deposition requires shadow masks, which limit the achievable pixel pitch and production yields of OLED display panels.

There have been similar announcements by Japan’s Athene earlier this year and we can be sure that Samsung and LG have similar developments in-house as well. In addition, the thermal deposition technology is also under pressure from the inkjet printing technology for soluble OLED materials. (NH)