The future of display production is here with inkjet printing of OLED panels. Konica Minolta has announced the first commercial printhead for OLED panel production, available this spring.
Printable OLED panels
A few years back the industry started talking about printing large and small OLED panels with a inkjet printer that releases small drops of OLED material on a glass or plastic layer. This is now possible with Konica Minolta’s first commercial inkjet printing head that will be available to display makers this spring.
Konica Minolta’s new printhead can print OLED panels in quantities
The printhead is only 38 mm wide and has 128 nozzles in one row. This makes it extremely precise and it is possible to achieve 1 picoliter drops (1 picoliter is a trillionth of a liter). Konica Minolta hopes to sell the product to existing and new display makers.
It basically means that manufacturers can take a glass or plastic substrate and then use the printhead to apply the OLED material used for creating small pixels.
Another company called Dupont, believed to be a Samsung-partner, is also developing inkjet printing methods for OLED panel production. They even claim that large-size OLED panels can be produced at lower costs than LCD panels in for example 50-inch sizes. According to industry sources, Dupont’s OLED printing technology is not optimized on the sub-pixel level, however. Each pixel on a display panel requires three sub pixels in red, green blue (RGB) to form one pixel.