OLED is still the bouncing, potential-filled baby of the display tech world, but manufacturing costs mean it’s still taking its time to replace LCD and plasma in our living rooms. Startup Kateeva reckon they can change all that, using inkjet printer technology combined with proprietary inks and drying systems to produce large-scale OLED displays that will eventually cost, the company predict, 70-percent of an equivalently-sized LCD panel.
The difference between existing inkjet-style methods and Kateeva’s is in their drying process, which uses a “T Jet” that sits in-between the nozzles and the substrate. This T Jet aids in precision of the printing process.
“The material is first heated to 100 Celsius to evaporate the carrier liquids. The remaining solids then get heated to 300 Celsius, turned into a gas, and deposited onto the substrate, where it solidifies”
Just as with the desktop printer business, much of Kateeva’s profit will come from actually selling the ink rather than licensing out the technology itself. They suggest their first, Gen 3.5 equipment will begin shipping in Q2 2010 – enough to print 61 x 72 cm OLED panels – the first step on the way to Gen 8 (more than 6ft per side) processes.