Companies involved in a national project run the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy are turning in their research results in the development of fine metal mask (FMM) used in OLED panel production.
APS Holdings, Philoptics, Poongwon Precision and Olum Materials have turned in their one-year results to the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (KEIT) under the Ministry.
They will need to turn in additional documents before KEIT chooses the final winners within the first quarter.
APS Holdings and Philoptics are competing in the non-etching method of FMM production. Philoptics uses electro forming while APS Holding uses laser patterning. Only of them will remain in the project after the review.
Philoptics have formed a consortium with testing equipment maker Hims and Sunic System. The equipment are used to check whether the FMM is thermally expanded or flap when the OLED material is deposited on the substrate.
In June, Philoptics have said it was close to producing a sample of its FMM to a customer. The company claimed that its method can produce FMM thinner than Japan’s DNP, which can produce FMMs in the 20 to 30 micrometer range in thickness using the etching method.
APS Holdings, meanwhile, formed a consortium with Sunchon National University professor Park Yong-bum. They are developing a FMM production method that uses heat resistant invar and a 600ppi FMM stick production technology using a half-sized 6th generation substrate. APS Holdings claim that the laser method don’t limit material use and doesn’t require a photo mask.
In February, APS Holdings announced that it was investing 20 billion won in facilities for the FMM business. It formed APS Materials last month, a new company dedicated to FMM business. The company said it was reacting to customer demand and commencing tests for FMM.
Meanwhile, Poongwon and Olum will compete in the etching method. Only one of them will remain in the project after KEIT’s review.