Process reduces OLED production cost

Engineers at DuPont claim to have developed a third-generation solution-based manufacturing process that will allow OLEDs to be printed cost effectively enough to enable them to be used in televisions.

The engineers say that the fabrication of such displays by the solution process will reduce material consumption and lower equipment costs compared to incumbent vapour deposition processes.

Dupont’s OLED solution process uses a combination of coating and printing processes that are scalable to a large size of glass – one of the major drivers of manufacturing cost reduction in the displays industry. Non-patterned OLED layers may be deposited using existing slot die coating technology and patterned layers deposited using a special high-speed printer developed specifically for printing OLEDs.

OLEDs are an inherently more sustainable display technology when compared with liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). They have the potential to consume lower power and eliminate the need for many LCD components, such as backlights and colour filters. OLEDs also can offer higher contrast ratios and faster response times.

’OLED displays in portable devices are available in the market today, but the current high cost of manufacturing with evaporated materials has limited market adoption and constrained OLED manufacturing for larger-size displays,’ said David Miller, president, DuPont Electronics & Communications.

’Now, with DuPont-printed OLED materials and process technology, fabrication costs can be significantly reduced and manufacturing can be scaled to accommodate TV-size displays.’

With the new process, DuPont claims that an OLED television operating eight hours per day would last more than 15 years.