Seiko Epson works towards printable big-screen OLEDs

Using ink-jet technology will allow it to make large OLED screens that can compete with LCDs and PDPs

Seiko Epson has made an advance in ink-jet technology that could be used to mass-produce large OLED (organic LED) screens by the middle of the next decade, making them more competitive with rival technologies for big-screen TVs.

OLED screens handle fast-moving images better and offer richer color reproduction than LCDs and PDPs (plasma display panels), and are at the center of many electronics companies research into future display technologies.

LCDs and PDPs still have the edge over OLEDs when it comes to making large displays, but Seiko Epson hopes to change that by using ink jets to print the components.

In an OLED screen, a thin layer of organic material produces its own light when an electric current is applied, removing the need for an additional backlight panel. With no need for a backlight, OLED displays are smaller, lighter and consume less power.

That organic layer, though, must be of constant thickness to provide an even light and picture across the display, something not previously possible using ink jets.

Now Seiko Epson has found a way to evenly deposit the organic material for an OLED screen using an ink jet, and will detail the technique at next week's Society for Information Display conference in San Antonio.

At the conference, it will show a 14-inch screen with a resolution density equivalent to that found in a 37-inch full high-definition screen. The sample is intended to demonstrate that the technology can be used to produce a 37-inch full HD OLED.

For Seiko Epson the project is one of several the company has been pursuing towards uses for its ink jet know-how outside of the printing arena.

It demonstrated an OLED display back in 2004 and at the time said it could be commercial within three years but that year came and went without any significant development from Seiko Epson although it was the year Sony put on sale the world's first OLED television. It's XEL-1 is based on a traditional display manufacturing technology, which can make larger screens but is still not mature enough for mass production at large sizes.

The company is currently eyeing small scale sample production of OLED screens using the new technology in around 2012 and mass production about three years after that. With next week's presentation at the SID conference it hopes to begin working with other companies in the industry to push the technology forward.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags oledseiko epson

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?