Electronic Products & Technology

News

Tech initiative develops patented OLED backplane technology

Christie’s works in association with University of Waterloo and DifTek Lasers, new technology will change the way OLEDs are manufactured; Conestoga College to scale production


Christie’s Advanced Technology Group, in association with DifTek Lasers Inc., researchers at the University of Waterloo, and Conestoga College, is investigating how to merge the high brightness of LEDs with the cost effectiveness and fill-factor of LCDs into an OLED display.

Working with Christie’s Advanced Technology Group, DifTek Lasers patented the technology and manufacturing process, and the group is working with Conestoga College’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing to begin scaling up the size of the backplanes that are manufactured. Although this technology is still in the experimentation phase, the goal of this patented technology is to apply it to the manufacture of large displays.

Backplanes incorporating crystalline Silicon semiconductor material

“The fundamental problem with the current production methods for OLED panels is the low-quality semiconductor materials that manufacturers use to make the transistors on the active-matrix backplane,” says John Vieth, senior director, Advanced Technology Group, Christie. “We’ve invented, and are now refining, a process for manufacturing backplanes incorporating the same crystalline Silicon semiconductor material used in computers that will support the high current and fast switching required for OLED displays.”

In a paper presented at the Society for Information Display’s Display Week 2016, May 22-27, Vieth and co-authors summarize this new backplane technology, saying, “By embedding single crystal silicon spheres in ceramic substrates and planarizing the surface, large area substrates with high mobility silicon can be realized. By utilizing well-established, high-performance and low-cost processes for the manufacture, scalability, placement and planarization of single crystal silicon particles, it is now possible to manufacture large-area, high-performance and planar electronic backplanes. We have achieved device performance 300 times that of devices found in today’s liquid crystal displays.”

Low cost and high-brightness of our OLED panels

Says Vieth, “Right now, we’re working on a display that’s just a 16 x 16 pixel square, but we’re excited by the possibility of manufacturing OLED backplanes in large panels for commercial applications.  We think the low cost and high-brightness of our OLED panels will be attractive to the display market.”

Together, DifTek Lasers Inc. and Christie are seeking relationships with other parties with operations in display panel manufacturing to join in the commercialization of this exciting advance in display technology that will set new cost/performance benchmarks.