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Proprietary coating to yield thinner OLEDs

Posted: 27 Feb 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:samsung sdi? vitex systems? displays? organic light emitting diodes? active-matrix oled?

Samsung SDI Co. has partnered with Vitex Systems Inc. to market displays based on organic light emitting diodes (OLED) that the two companies claim are 50 percent lower in weight and thickness than any other commercially available display.

Samsung, which has been pursuing OLEDs volume production, will provide funding for the specialized design and engineering activities of Vitex's Barrier Engineering Program. Samsung said its goal is to explore whether the technology can be produced for encapsulation of full-color, active-matrix OLEDs.

Vitex's proprietary Barix thin-film coating is designed to enable manufacturing of thinner, lighter displays for the mobile device market, said Ho-Kyoon Chung, Samsung's SVP. "We believe that Vitex's Barrier Engineering Program holds the potential to be the fastest, most cost-effective way for Samsung SDI to achieve a thin-film encapsulation solution for our OLED displays," he said.

Broad adoption of OLEDs has been impeded to some extent by a key manufacturing challenge: the organic matter's sensitivity to moisture and oxygen, which can quickly destroy an OLED display if unprotected.

Vitex's thin-film technology creates a moisture and oxygen barrier that is potentially as effective as a sheet of glass, without the added bulk, according to the company. Using Vitex's Barix encapsulation, display manufacturers can deposit, in situ, a thin-film coating directly on top of the OLED material on a glass substrate.

The procedure would eliminate the need for a glued-on-metal can or extra sheet of glass. The resulting thinner, lighter display is expected to deliver higher reliability at a significantly reduced manufacturing cost.

"The Barix technology developed by Vitex has significant potential to help further propel widespread industry adoption of OLEDs, which have emerged as a promising candidate in the production of zero-border, super-thin displays," said Ross Young, president of DisplaySearch. The market research firm projects that global sales of OLEDs will grow from $112 million in 2002 to $3.1 billion by 2007.

"Working closely with Samsung SDI will enable us to create a customized solution that best suits their production needs. This will in turn allow Samsung to cost-effectively provide mobile device OEMs with extremely thin, lightweight, high-quality OLED displays," said Michael Sullivan, president of Vitex.

Vitex, a spin-off of advanced research laboratory Battelle Memorial Institute, has been involved in the development of Barix encapsulation for the past three years. Through its Barrier Engineering Program, Vitex said it could customize the Barix coating for the specific performance requirements of an individual manufacturer's OLED displays.

- Nicolas Mokhoff

EE Times

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