SEOUL, KOREA—OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) is revolutionary, beautiful, and brand new. This ultra-thin, durable and flexible display is gaining presence before it even settles in the market. Many people believe they must wait for a few more years until it breaks out of R&D stage and lands on their hands, and there are no OLED display devices buzzing out there. With high expectations, tech-savvy consumers have been playing a low profile with patience for a long time. Now it seems to pay off. Samsung is breaking the silence.
The wait is over. The Samsung Display division broke the news on September 11. Beginning in late November, Korea’s largest display maker will mass-produce flexible OLED displays, which is the world’s first. It sets the tone by searching for contractors that will supply OLED parts. For better efficiency and longer lifespan, Samsung plans to tweak a new display technology by applying phosphorescence materials to not only green but red light emitting materials.
The target flexible display is using plastic, which means flexible plastic: virtually shatter –proof. “Flexibility” allows for bending, and it indicates a slim look compared to conventional OLED types. Samsung’s next version of the Galaxy Note is expected to feature this technology, but, unfortunately, bending is unlikely.
As plastic breaks down at high temperatures during TFT(Thin Film Transistor) process, the display maker has to resort to a new method; removing glass from a TFT created by coating polyimide (PI) to a glass plate. For plastic, Samsung puts a spin on the encapsulation process that keeps organic materials free of oxygen and moisture. Traditionally, OLED’s encapsulation process involves attaching melted glasses.
What protect the flexible display are organic materials formed by covering micrometer-level thin films instead of glass plates. However, thin films are fragile, and even pressure from organic materials can damage them. Thus, a protective film comes to the rescue. This protective film is thinner than the glass.
Main focus is on light emitting materials. Light emitting materials can outlast fluorescent materials and the former’s efficiency is four times higher than the latter. So far, only green emitting materials have been availed with fluorescent materials enabling both red and blue color. Samsung Display prepares to add these red and blue light emitting materials. It seems the giant display maker has already put a new technology into use, and it can manage red light emitting materials.