Display equipment maker Olum Material said on Monday that it will start the development of fine metal mask (FMM) for Gen 8.5 (2200x2500mm) OLED panels.
Currently, commercialized FMM is used in the production of small OLED panels made out of Gen 6 (1500x1850mm) substrates. These panels are mostly used in smartphones.
The production of these FMMs is dominated by Japan’s Dai Nippon Printing and they are used by Samsung Display and LG Display for their OLED panel production.
Olum is aiming for FMM used in Gen 8.5 substrates that are used to make OLED panels 10-inches or larger for tablets and notebooks.
Samsung Display is currently developing manufacturing equipment for Gen 8.5 OLED substrates.
Olum is developing unit cell FMM, which is different from the stick FMMs currently in use.
Olum’s way makes FMM by putting in individual cells like tiles onto the open mask grid. The company calls its technology uc-FMM.
The company claims its method makes using these FMM during OLED production simpler.
It applies what it calls a template process. On the transparent template, it seals and processes individual cell-sized invars (what FMMs are made of).
These cells are in front of every display, depositing materials individually. This differs from the stick method of FMM that is in front of the entire substrate, which makes them prone to sagging in the center. Stick FMM also deposits materials five to six panels at a time.
Olum says its unit cell method can increase yield and the FMMs can be made thinner to produce higher resolution panels.
However, increasing pixel position accuracy and developing repair equipment will be needed for the company’s technology to be commercialized.
Olum’s method currently has a pixel position accuracy of 5 micrometers __ it is aiming to reduce this to 3 micrometers within the year.
It is also developing the alignment equipment needed to position the FMM cells and molding equipment place or remove the cells with Top Engineering.
Meanwhile, Olum has already developed its own uc-FMM technology for Gen 6 OLED. It is planning to verify it with display makers soon. It has filed around 150 patents related to its uc-FMM technology.