Kateeva unveils inkjet printer for mass-producing OLED displays

Nov. 21, 2013
Menlo Park, CA--Kateeva, a Silicon-Valley startup, has debuted an inkjet printer specifically for the mass production of consumer organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) displays, including very large displays.

Menlo Park, CA--Kateeva, a Silicon-Valley startup, has debuted an inkjet printer specifically for the mass production of consumer organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) displays, including very large displays. Called YIELDjet, the printer also will mass-produce flexible OLED displays. Kateeva has excellent credentials: its chief technical officer is Steven Van Slyke, a co-inventor (along with Ching W. Tang of the University of Rochester) of the basic OLED technology.

Low particle contamination
YIELDjet is based on a pure nitrogen process chamber, which the company says can double display lifetime in certain applications; the printer also has been designed to reduces particle contamination by as much as 10X to boost yield (perhaps leading to the printer's name). Kateeva says that the printer also "offers exceptional film coating uniformity with a process window that’s 5X wider than standard technologies," boosting process reliability and uptime.

YIELDjet launches as the world’s first flexible and large-size OLED displays enter the market; for example, 55 in. OLED TVs debuted this year (at a high price). Jennifer Colegrove, President of Calif.-based Touch Display Research, expects that 2016 will be the take-off year for OLED TVs. By 2020, she predicts that the market will reach $15.5 billion.

In addition, wearable computing products benefit from the use of thin, ultralight flexible OLEDs. IHS Inc. predicts global market revenue for flexible OLEDs to rise from $21.9 million in 2013 to $94.8 million in 2014. By 2020, this figure will rise to well above $5.5 billion, according to estimates by several market-research firms.

Existing OLED manufacturing is constrained by vacuum evaporation techniques that use shadow masks for patterning -- a technique that is inefficient, difficult to scale, and prone to yield-killing particles. Inkjet printing is considered the ideal replacement because it enables high throughput, excellent scalability, high efficiency, and potentially better particle performance (by eliminating shadow masks), says Kateeva.

Kateeva also maintains operations in Korea, and is backed by venture capital firms and other investors.

Source: http://kateeva.com/press-full/kateeva-introduces-yieldjet-an-inkjet-printing-manufacturing-equipment-solution-for-mass-producing-flexible-and-large-size-oleds/

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