QNED (quantum dot nano-rod LED) structure and core technology

Samsung Display research center is accelerating the development of QNED as the next-generation display following OLED.

The reason Samsung Display is developing QNED as part of its large-size display business is that it is the only display that can produce the image quality that Samsung Display’s biggest customer, Samsung Electronics, can satisfy.

Samsung Electronics’ TV business direction, which has the world’s No. 1 TV market share, is to use QD to make color gamut better than OLED, and to use a display that can maximize HDR performance with high luminance and excellent gradation characteristics on a bright screen.

The only display that can satisfy the needs of Samsung Electronics is QNED.

Color gamut best better best
HDR best better better
Luminance best better better
Contrast ratio best best better
Motion blur best best good


QNED is a self-luminous display and because it uses QD, it has the best color gamut, HDR, luminance, contrast ratio, and motion blur, etc., and is a product expected by Samsung Electronics.

It can be confirmed by the structure that QNED is the display with the best characteristics. QNED consists of a pixel layer with a nano-rod LED on the TFT structure of 3T1C used in large OLEDs, and a color conversion layer consisting of QD and CF (color filter) on top.

In OLED, electrodes (cathode and anode) and electrode line for transmitting a signal to a pixel are located above and below the light emitting material, whereas in QNED, both the signal transmitting electrode (pixel electrode) and electrode line are located on the same plane. In addition to the pixel electrode, the QNED additionally includes a reflective electrode to increase light output efficiency. The pixel electrode serves as an alignment electrode for aligning the nano-rod LED.

< QNED section structure >

< QNED pixel structure >

< QNED pixel planar structure >

Looking at the planar structure of a QNED pixel, a plurality of pixel electrodes are connected in series in one pixel, and a nano-rod LED is positioned between the pixel electrodes. The pixel electrode is on the pixel wall (PW) formed of an insulating material, and each pixel is surrounded by a bank (BNK) to separate regions.


The core technology of QNED is driving technology and sensing technology.

The driving technology includes a driving technique for aligning nano-rod LEDs and a driving technique for uniformly controlling pixels that may have a deviation in the number of nano-rod LEDs. The alignment circuit includes switching elements for each pixel, and the switching element applies an alignment signal to the pixel. The alignment state of the nano-rod LED is determined depending on which alignment signal is given to each pixel.

< Drive circuit for alignment >

< Sensing transistor for checking alignment >

The most important driving technology is a technology that supplies current to each pixel so that the luminance can be uniform across the entire screen even if the number of nano-rod LEDs per pixel is different. It is a method of controlling each pixel based on the data read from the sensing transistor.

[QNED Technology Completion Analysis Report] details the sensing transistor, sensing wiring, and sensing signals that can check the nano-rod LED alignment status on the panel.


As sensing technology, there are sensing technology (sensing transistor) designed inside QNED and sensing technology used in QNED manufacturing. The sensing technology used to manufacture QNEDs is inherent in inkjet systems. There are three sensing technologies in the inkjet system: the number of nano-rod LEDs in the ink and the viscosity analysis of the solvent, the analysis of the number of nano-rod LEDs sprayed on the panel, and the analysis of the nano-rod LED alignment state.

< Inkjet system configuration >


QNED has already proven that 4K 65 inches can be driven two years ago. Samsung Display is concentrating on finishing work to secure the screen uniformity of QNED.

Samsung Electronics widens the technology gap by applying new technology to ‘Galaxy Z Fold3’.

According to the ‘2021 OLED Components and Materials Report’ recently published by UBI Research, the ‘Galaxy Z Fold3’, which is expected to be released by Samsung Electronics in August, has UPC (under panel camera) and pol-less (or color filter on) encapsulation, COE) and S Pen technology are expected to be newly applied.

First, UPC, a technology that realizes the full screen of a smartphone by placing the front camera under the screen, has been mentioned using a transparent PI substrate and various technologies such as laser patterning, but in the end, the cathode electrode is patterned with a laser and the resolution near the camera is different. Thus, it seems that the maximum transmittance was secured. It is analyzed that the transparent PI substrate was not applied to the mass production process due to the high process temperature of the TFT.

Although many panel makers have developed pol-less technology, which replaces polarizers with color filters and low-reflection technologies, they could not be applied because they did not show as much anti-reflection effect as polarizers. The polarizing plate is effective in preventing external light reflection, but reduces the amount of light emitted from the OLED light emitting layer by more than 50%. If the polarizer is removed, more light can be emitted with the same power to the outside, so if the same luminance is implemented, battery consumption can be reduced. Samsung Display seems to have implemented pol-less technology by applying color filters, low-reflection films, and black pixel define layer (PDL).

The S Pen is finally applied with an electro-magnetic resonance (EMR) method, and the 30 um thick product used in the previous work is expected to be used as it is for the UTG. The AES method, which does not require a digitizer, was also considered due to the flexibility issue of the digitizer made of metal, but it is expected that the S Pen will eventually be applied in such a way that the digitizer is located on both sides of the panel.

The ‘2021 OLED Components and Materials Report’ published this time includes not only the development trend of foldable OLED, but also the development trend of mobile devices and materials for TV. It is expected to be of great help to related companies.

<’Galaxy Z Fold3’ Expected Structure ©2021 UBI Research>

Cover window market forecast for foldable phones

The biggest difference between flexible OLED and foldable OLED will be the cover window material. In terms of price competitiveness, various Colorless Poly Imide (CPI) are superior to suppliers, but in the end, the cover window market is expected to depend on which material Samsung Electronics and Apple choose.

Samsung Display plans to supply only foldable OLEDs using UTG (Ultra Thin Glass) to Samsung Electronics and other China this year, and is expected to adopt UTG as the main cover window material in the future.

BOE and CSOT currently focus on transparent PI, but they are securing technology by continuously collaborating with UTG-related glass processing companies. For this reason, according to the UBI Research component and materials market track, UTG is expected to occupy 80% of the market for foldable cover windows in the future, and transparent PI is low in price and easy to apply to products larger than 10 inches As a result, it is expected to be applied to low-end models, tablets, and notebook models.







OLED Market Enters Adjustment Period from Rapid Growth

As smartphone makers, including Samsung Electronics and Apple, increased the use of OLEDs in flagship models, the growth of the OLED market, which had been rapidly growing, has been braked.

The third quarter of each year is the season with the best OLED performance for smartphones due to the launch of a new iPhone. According to the display market track of UBI Research (www.ubiresearch.com), in the third quarter of this year, 113 million units were shipped, an increase of 26.3 million units compared to 86.7 million units in the last quarter, showing a growth of 30.4%. However, this figure is due to an optical illusion. The reason is that the results in the first and second quarters were very poor compared to before due to COVID-19. Compared to the third quarter of last year, shipments in the third quarter of this year decreased by 17.9%. Shipments are smaller than in the third quarter of 2018.

The decrease in OLED shipments for smartphones in the third quarter is due to the addition of Huawei sanctions to COVID-19. The sharp drop in shipments from Samsung Display and BOE to Huawei deteriorated the third quarter earnings.

There are also many analyzes that companies such as Samsung Electronics, Oppo, and Vivo will benefit from the reflection due to Huawei sanctions. However, since Samsung Electronics is currently struggling in the Chinese market, and the brand power of Oppo and Vivo is less than that of Huawei, it will be difficult to replace the expensive smartphone market in China occupied by Huawei. Therefore, Huawei’s smartphones, which mainly use OLEDs, disappear from the market, and shipments of Samsung Display and BOE are also forced to decrease more than expected.

The growth of the smartphone OLED market is expected to slow for the time being due to Huawei’s smartphone production disruption, which was expected to break through the 300 million units’ market and purchase OLED in large quantities. As a result, the OLED market in China will suffer a severe oversupply situation.


Samsung Electronics’ foldable smartphone to be released in 2021, with touch pen and UTG thickness different?

According to the ‘2020 OLED Components and Materials Report’ recently published by UBI Research, Samsung Electronics’ next-generation foldable smartphones to be released in 2021 are expected to be equipped with a pen function.

It is expected that the pen function will be added to Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Z Fold2, which was released in September, but the flexibility issue of the digitizer, which is an essential material to support the pen function, and ultra thin glass (UTG), the cover window material. The pen function was not added in the end due to its thin thickness.

In order to add a pen function, Samsung Display seems to be considering applying an active electrostatic solution (AES) method that does not require a digitizer and changing the thickness of UTG.

First, the’Galaxy Note’ series uses an electro-magnetic resonance (EMR) method with a digitizer at the bottom of the OLED panel. The EMR method has good touch sensitivity and does not require a battery to be embedded in the pen, but it is not applicable to foldable devices due to the flexibility issue of the metal digitizer.

Unless the companies developing the EMR method provide a special solution, the AES method is highly likely to be applied to the pen for the next ball double device. In this case, the sensor pitch of Y-OCTA is formed more densely or the Touch IC is more complex. Can be designed.

The AES method is also being developed by LG Display and BOE to apply to foldable devices.

In addition, the thickness of UTG is also expected to change. The 30 um thick UTG, which is currently commercially available, has good flexibility, but due to its film-like characteristics, when pressure is applied with a touch pen, traces remain and may affect touch sensitivity. To solve this problem, Samsung Display is developing UTG with a thickness of more than 60 um in cooperation with glass processing companies.

As the thickness of the UTG decreases as the thickness increases, it is expected that the UTG currently under development will be applied with a concept in which the folded part is processed thin and filled with a material having the same refractive index as glass. In addition, in the future, there is a possibility that an additional coating process will be added after the reinforcement process without a protective film such as PET on UTG.

In UBI Research’s ‘2020 OLED Parts and Materials Report’, Samsung Display’s expected change in foldable OLED was written as a roadmap and the trends of related materials were analyzed. According to the report, Samsung Electronics’ application of pens for foldable devices is expected in 2021, and UTG materials are expected to lead the market at 78% by 2025 in the future cover window market for foldable devices.


Will Dowooinsys expand UTG lines to prepare for the foldable phone market?

The cover window material of Samsung Electronics ‘Galaxy Z Fold 2’ which will be released in the second half of this year, is UTG like ‘Galaxy Z Filp’. The reason why Samsung Electronics prefers UTG is analyzed for its sense of luxury, differentiation, and sensitivity for the touch pen expected to be applied in the future.

In 2021, the market for over 10 million foldable phones is expected to expand, and the main cover window material of Samsung’s foldable phones will be UTG. To respond to this, Dowooinsys should increase their capacity.

Dowooinsys’ capa is estimated to be 250K/month for 6 inch cells and 375K/month for 7 inch cells. Even if the 6 inch line will be converted to a 7 inch line in the future, it will be 500K/month. Considering the yield of Dowooinsisy and Samsung Display’s Vietnamese module line, more than 4 to 5 lines should be expanded.

Currently, Samsung Display’s Vietnamese module line is assumed as 450K/month considering the yield, but the Vietnamese module line is continually being converted into a foldable line. Even in response to the current situation that Samsung Electronics prefers UTG, Dowooinsys is expected to expand more lines in the second half of this year, and its location is also expected to be considered near Samsung Display’s Vietnamese module line.

With the expansion of Dowooinsys’ additional lines, the market of cover window materials for foldable phones is expected to change in the future. At UBI Research’s ‘Next-Generation Display Technology and Industry Outlook Seminar’ held in mid-July, it is predicted that UTG will lead the future market at a ratio of 7:3 with colorless polyimide.

LPKF’s laser glass processing technology, makes a cover glass thicker than UTG be folded.

It was expected that the S Pen would be applied to Samsung’s ‘Galaxy Z Fold2’, which will be released in the second half of this year, but it has passed the year.

UTG, the cover window material currently applied to Samsung Electronics’ ‘Galaxy Z Filp’, is 30 um thick and is 1/10 thinner than 300 um, the thickness of commercially available cover glass.

It was possible to have flexibility by using UTG into a foldable phone, but due to the film-like characteristics, there was an issue that durability was insufficient to apply the S Pen.

In order to handle this issue, a technology that increases the thickness of UTG and secures flexibility will be needed. A typical method is processing the folding part of the glass to get flexibility even at a thick thickness.

LIDE (Laser induced deep etching) technology, developed and patented by German high-tech company LPKF, is expected to be a good example. It is known that this technology is a two-step process called micro-region transformation and chemical treatment using a laser, and can process glass of various thicknesses from 30 um to 900 um without micro crack.

LPKF explains that the part where the cover glass is folded is finely processed with a laser to give flexibility to the glass, and it is possible to design the pattern to be invisible using a polymer having same reflectivity as a cover glass.

If you look at Vitrion’s YouTube video (https://youtu.be/Vh3rU4LRHaw), a separate brand related to LIDE, in LPKF, you can see that a cover glass with a thickness of 500 um was patterned to secure bending radius of 1 mm.

<LPKF foldable OLED cover glass, Source: LPKF>

With this glass processing technology, attention is paid to whether a S-pen can be supported as a thicker cover glass is applied to a foldable phone in the future.

Foldable OLED UTG market expected to grow rapidly

As Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Z Flip continues to be sold out in the market, Samsung Display’s foldable OLED cover window UTG (ultra thin glass) market is expected to grow rapidly.

According to UBI Research’s first quarter 2020 parts and materials market track, the UTG market is expected to grow to $ 160 million this year and to $ 640 million in 2023.

In Samsung Electronics’ first-generation foldable phone, the Galaxy folder, a transparent PI made of plastic was used as the cover window, but in the second-generation foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Flip, the cover window was replaced with UTG. The reason Samsung Display changed the transparent PI to UTG is that the glare of the glass cover when the screen is off gives a much more luxurious feeling than the transparent PI.

Samsung Display used transparent PI produced by Dongwoo Fine-Chem for the first-generation foldable OLED, but changed it to UTG produced by Dowooinsys technology. Glass for UTG is provided by Shott. To strengthen the foldable OLED ecosystem, Samsung Display secured a 27.7% stake in Dowooinsys and secured its position as the largest shareholder. Foldable OLED latecomers are now only developing out-folding type foldable OLEDs as transparent PI, but Samsung Display has changed materials to prevent latecomers from following the foldable OLED market at all.

3F starts construction of 1,100 tons of PI production plant annually

China has entered the localization of PI. Although it has grown to the world’s highest level of LCD production, it is still only a few percent in the OLED panel market. In the OLED field, the Chinese government continues to invest heavily in panel makers, mainly BOE, to help China become the best production base. However, the supply chain of parts and materials that are essential for producing OLED is very poor.

The Chinese government has invested in a PI plant to make flexible substrates, which is the first step in flexible OLED manufacturing.

3F New Material, located in Changshu, started a project capable of producing 1,100 tons of PI per year. The project involved construction of a three-story production plant on a site of 2408 square meters with a total investment of 216 million yuan. The total building area is 7224 square meters, and after completion of the factory, it will have the capacity to produce 1,000 tons of PI for the substrate and 100 tons of transparent PI for the cover window.

Foldable Phone Cover Window Material Competition To Heat up.

Ahead of Samsung Electronics’ unpacking event, interest in the foldable phone cover window material is hot. There was a concerned surprise that the Galaxy Fold, which was scheduled to be released in the first half of last year, was delayed for several months due to the tearing issue of the protective film. This year’s concern is whether Ultrathin Glass (UTG), which has emerged as a substitute for Colorless Polyimide (CPI), can be mass-produced without major issues.

Samsung Electronics will release the Galaxy Z flip known as “Clamshell” in the first half of this year and the Galaxy Fold 2 known as “Winner 2” in the second half of this year. The Clamshell is known to adopt UTG. This material is advantageous in terms of the hardness required for the use of the S Pen, the luxurious visibility and the soft touch unique to the glass. Moreover, the major reason for adopting UTG is known to remove wrinkle at the center of the screen, which has been pointed out as a disadvantage of CPI.

Prior to adopting UTG, Samsung Display invested $ 40.8M in Dowooinsys, UTG maker, and became the largest shareholder with 27.7% stake. The intention is to secure the stable supply of UTG and reduce its dependence on Japan for major materials.

<Ultrathin Glass (UTG) (Source : Dowooinsys homepage)>

However, there are also concerns about the adoption of UTG. Schott, AGC and Corning are also developing the product and they can produce substrates with a thickness of about 100 mm by the floating method or the slit nozzle method. To make it even thinner, Dowooinsys uses hot drawing or HF etching. The thickness of UTG to secure durability is believed to be 100 mm or more and with this thickness, the radius of curvature is about 2 ~ 3mm (~1mm for CPI), which reduces design freedom of the foldable phones. To improve durability, the UTG surface is coated with a polymer resin, which also prevents glass fragments from scattering when broken. The current problems of UTG are that mass production and yield are not yet secured due to the difficulty of the process, and that there exist traumatic worries on unexpected durability issues when released to the market.

Meanwhile, CPI material companies, which have been threatened by the news that UTG will be adopted for Clamshell, are also preparing to fight back. In order to remove the changeable window film (protective film) of PET material applied to Galaxy Fold, they are increasing the hardness of the hard coating on the CPI and developing a functional coating to give a glassy gloss. In particular, Dongwoo Fine-Chem, which did hard-coating on the CPI for Galaxy Fold, is known to simplify the process by developing hard coating materials including antifouling function. With all efforts added up , the CPI cover window structure is changed from the first generation foldable phone (PET + COA + CPI + COA) to the second generation foldable phone (CPI + COA), enabling the thickness to be reduced from about 200 mm to half, and the material cost and the process to be reduced.

<2019 Released Samsung Galaxy Fold Structure (Source: UBI Research Report)>

<Structure Prediction of the Samsung Galaxy Fold Follow-up Models: When Using UTG (Left) and CPI (Right) (Source: UBI Research)>

In addition to Sumitomo Chemical, which supplied to Galaxy Fold, Kolon Industries and SKC are also preparing for mass production of CPI. While UTG adoption seems to benefit to Clamshell with small screens, CPI is advantageous for larger screen sizes. UTG must make up for durability at the thickness retaining design freedom, and secure mass production system and price competitiveness through process improvement. CPI should strive to improve the hardness and appearance close to glass, and also increase price competitiveness. The material selection criteria will vary with the foldable phone models and customer response. Therefore the customer response for the Clamshell will be an important step in the future direction of the foldable phone cover window material. The market for the material is expected to grow rapidly, reaching $ 429.6M by 2023. The competition between UTG and CPI to take the market first has now begun.

<Market Forecast for Cover Window Materials (Source: UBI Research Report)>

[SID2019] What material is better for cover windows of foldable OLED? colorless PI or UTG?

Since Royole introduced ‘FlexPai’, a foldable OLED phone, Samsung Electronics and Huawei have also launched Foldable OLED phones, attracting great interest from the industry and the public.

The biggest change of the foldable OLED phone currently being commercialized or under preparation is that the cover window of the glass material used in the existing flexible OLED has been changed to colorless PI material.

Colorless PI is thinner than conventional cover window glass, which is advantageous in reducing the radius of curvature and has the advantage of not breaking. UTG (ultra-thin glass), which has good surface touch-feel and scratch-resistant glass as thin as possible, is also attracting attention as a cover window material for foldable OLEDs.

At the SID Display Week exhibition in San Jose, KOLON exhibited colorless PI with hard coating. KOLON, which has been ready for mass production of colorless PI since 2018, is currently supplying colorless PI for foldable OLED cover windows to AUO, BOE, LG Display, and Royole.

Hard coating company DNP and TOYOCHEM also exhibited colorless PI with hard coating. DNP’s company official said that the film is under development and its main business area is hard coating, and TOYOCHEM’s company official said that it supplied hard coating samples to KOLON and SKC.

Meanwhile, SCHOTT, a UTG development company, also attracted the attention of the audience by displaying UTG for foldable OLED cover windows. An official of SCHOTT said that the UTG currently being developed is a cover window product for out-folding, not in-folding, and that the thickness is currently in development from 0.7 mm to 2.5 mm in accordance with customer requirements.

As the smartphone set makers are expected to release foldable OLED phones in the near future, competition for related materials is also expected to be intense. Whether the Colorless PI will continue to dominate or whether UTG will be able to exercise its influence is highlighted.

[Press Release] AMOLED components and materials market grew to $ 24.15 billion in 2023

Although Samsung Electronics and Apple’s OLED smartphone market are stalled, Chinese smartphone makers are gradually increasing their use of OLEDs based on the huge smartphone market in China. As a result, BOE and Chinese panel makers have aggressively established a Gen6n flexible OLED plant, which is driving the OLED industry.

As a result of UBI Research’s panel makers’ operation rate analysis due to OLED plant expansion and supply and demand, the market for various component materials (excluding light emitting materials) that make up OLEDs is expected to reach $13.9 billion in 2019 and expand to $ 24.15 billion in 2023.

Recently, as the production of foldable OLED has started, various kinds of films that are not applied to LCD are emerging as core materials.

In the [2019 OLED Components and Materials Report] published by UBI Research, we examined the foldable OLED structure of Samsung Display, LG Display, and BOE, and analyzed the thickness and characteristics of the films that make up the module.

In the OLED components and materials market, components for TV OLEDs will grow rapidly to reach $ 19.1 billion in 2023 and lead the OLED industry.

What is the cost of OLED materials for the Galaxy F?

What will be the price of foldable phone Galaxy F, which is expected to be on the market this year, is a concern for people around the world. Samsung Display is the only company that can mass-produce Foldable OLEDs with in-folding type used by Galaxy F.

Galaxy F with 7.29-inch OLED is a digital convergence product that can simultaneously target the smartphone and tablet PC market. The initial sale price will be around $ 2,000, and the estimated sales volume is about 1 million units this year.

The OLED industry is interested in how much the Galaxy F’s foldable OLED panels (including modules) will cost.

According to UBI Research’s material cost analysis data, Samsung Display’s foldable OLED material cost is 2.04 times higher than the Galaxy S10 5.8 inch. This is because the display area has increased, and the yield has been reduced.

Galaxy F, Galaxy S10, and iPhone XS’s flexible OLED material cost analysis shows that the module cost of iPhone XS is the highest at 95.2%, Galaxy S10 at 92.2% and Galaxy F at 89.3%.

[Press Release] Foldable OLED Market Grows Fast to US$ 24.6 Billion by 2023

Reporter & Analyst : Daejeong Yoon

5G communication technology introduced from next year can process higher image quality and large-capacity contents such as VR more rapidly, besides real-time streaming service. As the communication speed increases, the relevant contents, are expected to be released, which require high resolution and large screen with graphics detailed.

The current smart phone is getting bigger up to 6 inches, but it is not enough for 4K resolution of 5G communication age. Since 4K resolution is to be possible at 7-inch and larger displays, they might be the most suitable product for the 5G communication era. Foldable smart phones are digital convergence products that can function as smart phones and tablet PCs as the next generation mobile devices that use 7 inch or more displays but maximize portability.

Owing to foldable OLED, foldable smart phones are likely to be available. Several companies have rushed to produce various prototype foldable OLED displays at exhibitions and conferences. A few panel makers even pledged to mass-produce foldable OLED displays competitively. OLED display companies worldwide including Samsung Display have invested enormous development costs in order to preempt the next generation product market, and now foldable OLEDs are starting to appear.

Samsung Electronics, which is leading the OLED smart phone market, is planned to launch the in-folding type foldable phone for the first time in the world next year. Accordingly, Samsung Display has prepared 1.5R foldable OLED. For Samsung Electronics, which has suffered sluggish sales of the Galaxy S series, Foldable Phone is a super premium product that needs to be succeeded.

<Expected structure of Samsung Electronics’ in-folding type foldable phone>

Source: Foldable OLED Report, UBI research


UBI Research (CEO: Yi, Choong-hoon), an OLED research institute, has published Foldable OLED Report. According to the report, the market for foldable OLED in 2019 is only US$ 480 million, but it is expected to grow to US $ 24.6 billion in 2023.

Yi said, “The rapid growth of the foldable OLED market is due to the fact that 7-inch and larger smartphones, which can support 4K resolution, become required products in the 5G communication era. Accordingly, the value of OLED panel makers will be determined by the success of foldable OLED production.”


<Foldable OLED Market Forecast>
Source: Foldable OLED Report, UBI Research

However, foldable OLED is not a product that anyone can produce. Since foldable OLED has a more complex module structure than conventional flexible OLED, it is necessary to overcome the changes in various panel characteristics caused by folding. Especially in in-folding type foldable OLED, compensation circuit technology to overcome TFT resistance change and resilience required when folding and unfolding screen are typical technical difficulties. In order to realize this technology, the key challenges of reducing stress at the area of folding, selecting a proper substrate, determining the ideal stack structure, and optimizing the liftoff process, need to be overcome. Even when folding over 200,000 times, it is required to have reliability that there will be no abnormality on display image quality and surface.

“Foldable OLED Report” published by UBI Research analyzes the development trends of panel makers together with the development issues of major films that determine the reliability of foldable OLED.

전면지문인식 풀스크린 스마트폰 경쟁 시작

<전면지문인식을 탑재한 디스플레이가 적용된 VIVO의 스마트폰, Android authority>

스마트폰의 전면지문인식경쟁이 뜨거워질 것으로 예상된다.

기존 홈버튼이 있는 스마트폰에는 홈버튼에 전면 지문인식 센서를 탑재하여 제품이 출시되었다. 지문을 이용한 보안강화로 소비자들의 큰 호응을 얻었지만 최근 홈버튼이 없는 풀스크린 스마트폰 위주로 제품이 출시가 되며 지문인식 센서도 스마트폰의 뒷면으로 옮겨졌다. 이로 인해 지문인식 센서에 손가락을 터치할 때 불편한 손모양과 옆에 위치한 카메라렌즈에 지문이 묻는 등 단점이 발생했다.

이러한 점들을 개선하고 완벽한 풀스크린 스마트폰을 제조하기 위해 전면지문인식을 디스플레이와 일체화 시키려는 개발이 지속되고 있다.

전면 지문인식은 크게 광학식과 초음파식이 검토되고 있다. 광학식은 가격이 저렴하고 양산에 용이하지만, 센서가 OLED panel 하부에 위치해야 하므로 OLED 기판이 투명해야한다. 따라서 glass를 기판으로 사용하는rigid OLED에는 적용이 가능하지만 유색PI를 기판으로 사용하는 flexible OLED에는 적용이 어려운 상황이다. 초음파식은 정확성과 내구성이 가장 안정적이지만 제조가격이 비싸다는 단점이 있다.

현재 중국 set업체들은 광학식 전면 지문인식을 채택한 스마트폰 출시를 시작하였으며, 삼성전자에서 내년 출시예정인 galaxy S10에 초음파식 전면지문인식을 채택 여부가 관심을 모으고 있다. 또한 LG 디스플레이도 전면지문인식을 탑재한 디스플레이를 개발 중에 있는 것으로 알려졌다.

이처럼 풀스크린에 전면지문인식을 탑재한 스마트폰 출시가 본격화 될 것으로 기대되는 가운데 하반기 스마트폰 시장의 경쟁이 더욱 치열해 질 것으로 기대된다.

[iMiD 2017] OLEDON, 2250ppi OLED제조용 면소스 FMM 증착 원리 공개

28일 개최한 iMiD 2017에서 단국대학교의 실험실 벤처 OLEDON사 대표 황창훈 교수는 2250ppi를 구현할 수 있는 면소스 FMM 증착 기술에 대해 발표하였다.

황창훈 교수의 발표에 따르면, OLEDON에서 개발한 면소스 증착 기술은 기존 유기물 증착 방식과 다르다. 면소스 FMM 증착 기술은 유기물을 금속면에 1차로 증착하여 도너 박막을 형성하고 면소스를 만든 후, 이를 재 증발시켜 기판에 유기물 박막을 형성하는 원리이다. 이 기술을 적용하면 유기물은 면증발로 인해 수직성 기체빔을 형성하게 된다. (원천특허:1012061620000 대한민국)

OLEDON사가 개발한 면소스로 유기물을 증착 했을 때의 섀도우 거리는 0.38 um – 0.59 um이다. 이는 4 um의 패턴 사이즈를 가지는 2250ppi 소자를 제작할 수 있는 수준이다.

황창훈 교수는 ‘면소스 증착 기술을 적용하면 유기물 기체의 입사각이 줄어들어 마스크에 의한 섀도우 현상을 획기적으로 줄일 수 있다’고 설명했다. 또한, ‘면소스는 수직성 유기물 기체빔이 완전 제로 입사각을 형성할 수 있어 이론적으로 섀도우 거리가 제로 um도 가능하다’고 덧붙였다.


<OLEDON사가 개발한 면소스 증착 기술 원리>


또한, 이번 발표에서 황창훈 교수는 ‘면소스 증착기술은 고해상도용 섀도우마스크의 제작에도 필수적’이라 강조했다.

현재 양산에 적용중인 리니어 소스 FMM의 경우 섀도우 마스크의 오프닝간 거리는 80um이다. 이로 인해 유기물 기체빔의 입사각은 커질 수 밖에 없어 고밀도 패턴을 가지는 섀도우 마스크 제작이 어려운 실정이다.

황창훈 교수는 ‘면소스 증착 기술을 이용하면 섀도우 마스크의 테이핑 각도는 80° 수준이다’며 ‘오프닝간 거리를 20 um미만까지 줄일 수 있어 면소스 증착 기술은 리니어 소스가 가지는 마스크 패턴 밀도 문제를 해결할 수 있다’고 설명했다.

OLEDON사는 면소스 증착 기술로 완전 shadow-free 패터닝 조건에 도전하고 있으며, 단국대학교의 진병두교수팀과 공동으로 11K급 마이크로 OLED 소자의 제조가 가능한 면소스 FMM 증착기를 단국대학교내에 개발 설치할 계획이다. (참고:OLEDON사의 홈페이지 www.oledon.co.kr)


<면소스 FMM 증착기술을 사용시 섀도우마스크의 오프닝밀도 변화>


한편, OLEDON사은 양산용 면소스 FMM 증착기에 대한 13건의 등록특허를 보유하고 있다. 최근 연구 결과를 토대로 양산장비 신규특허 7건을 국내출원 하였으며, 3건을 PCT 국제출원 중이다.

[신간 OLED 보고서] 모바일 기기용 AMOLED 부품소재 시장 보고서

AMOLED 부품소재 보고서 발간 보도자료.

유비리서치에서 모바일 기기용 AMOLED 부품소재 보고서를 출간하였다. 이 보고서는 모바일 기기용 rigid AMOLED와 flexible AMOLED를 생산하기 위해 필요한 각종 부품 소재들 중에서 핵심 부품소재 16종을 선별하여 향후 시장을 전망하였다.

<2017 모바일 기기용 OLED 부품소재 보고서, 유비리서치>

본 보고서에 따르면 우선 모바일 AMOLED 제조에 필요한 유리는 기판용과 encapsulation용, flexible AMOLED 제조에 필수적인 PI 기판을 지지할 carrier용으로 분류하였으며 2017년 시장은 92백만 달러로 예상하고 있다. 2021년에는 현재 보다 2배 성장한 1.85억 달러 시장으로 성장할 전망이다.

<2017 모바일 기기용 OLED 부품소재 보고서, 유비리서치>

또한 본 보고서에서는 AMOLED의 최외곽에 부착되는 커버 윈도우 시장에 대해서도 세밀하게 분석하여 전망하고 있다. 커버 윈도우 시장은 현재 rigid AMOLED에 사용되는 2D 커버 윈도우와 flexible AMOLED용 3D 커버 윈도우 시장을 비롯해서 향후 foldable 스마트 폰에 필수적인 플라스틱 커버 윈도우 시장도 전망하고 있다.

이들 3개 종류가 만드는 커버 윈도우 시장은 flexible AMOLED 시장 성장과 함께 급성장하여 2021년은 119억달러 규모가 될 전망이다.

<2017 모바일 기기용 OLED 부품소재 보고서, 유비리서치>


Cybernet, OLED display용 얼룩 보정 IC 개발

일본의 Cybernet system 주식회사는 OLED display용 얼룩 보정 기능 IP를 포함한 display driver IC를 반도체 제조 업체와 공동 개발 했다고 밝혔다.

<OLED와 Driver IC의 구조도 예, 출처 : cybernet.jp>

Cybernet이번 공동 개발을 통해, OLED panel 업체들이 향상 된 얼룩 보정 기능을 쉽게 적용 할 수 있으며, Cybernet이 제공하는 자동 얼룩 보정 장치 FPiS™ series를 동시에 사용함으로써 품질 향상과 수율 개선으로 안정적인 생산을 할 수 있다.” 라며, 이를 바탕으로 시장에 제품 출시가 가속화 될 것으로 기대하고 있다고 밝혔다.

이번에 개발 된 얼룩 보정 기능을 포함한 OLED displaydriver IC 2017 6월부터 범용 IC와 특정 고객을 위한 IC로 판매를 개시 할 예정으로, 상세한 최종 제품 사양과 판매처, 판매시기는 추후에 공지할 예정이라고 밝혔다.

<FPiS를 활용 한 자동 얼룩 보정 장치 시스템 개략도, 출처 : cybernet.jp>

후지 필름(Fujifilm), UDC에 OLED 특허 매각

후지 필름은 Universal Display(UDC)에 OLED 관련 특허 약 1200건과 application을 1억 5백만달러(약 1200억원)에 매각한다고 발표했다.

후지 필름은 10년이상 OLED 관련 개발을 진행해왔으며, OLED 개발을 위한 UDC와 전략적 협약을 위해 OLED 관련 특허 매각을 결정했다고 전했다. 후지필름은 UDC의 공급사를 중심으로 전세계 OLED 제작사에 barrier 필름, 전도성 필름, flexible 기판과 같은 재료의 공급을 늘려갈 예정이다.

Souce: 후지필름, UDC



코니카미놀타 OLED 제작 가능한 잉크젯 헤드 개발

Konica Minolta IJ Technologies, Inc.(코니카미놀타)는 1 피코리터 드롭 사이즈가 인쇄가능한 OLED 제작가능한 잉크젯 헤드”KM128SNG-MB”를 개발했다고 발표했다.
잉크젯프린트헤드 “KM128SNG-MB”는 코니카미놀타의 실리콘 MEMS 기술을 이용해 제작한 첫 제품이며, 올해 봄부터 판매를 시작할 것으로 예상된다.


코니카미놀타의 KM128SNG-MB

새로 개발된 잉크젯헤드 KM128SNG-MB는 반도체 공정 기술을 사용한 실리콘 MEMS 기술을 이용해 제작한 차세대 잉크젯 프린트헤드이다. MEMS 기술을 통해 코니카 미놀타는 마이크로 드롭 사이즈의 배출이 가능한 고정밀 프린트 헤드 구조(인쇄폭38mm, 128노즐) 개발에 성공했다. 잉크 흐름 통로 디자인과 고 정밀 조립 공정에 관한 자사 고유기술은 매우 작은 드롭사이즈의 (레이아웃)을 달성했다. 또한 새로운 잉크젯 헤드는 산업용 기기용의 다양한 잉크에 내구성이 높으며, 낮은 점도의 잉크 사용에도 적합하다. MEMS 기술을 이용함으로써 노즐을 통합할 수 있었으며, 이는 컴팩트 잉크젯 프린트헤드를 제작할 수 있게 했다. 새로이 개발된 잉크젯 프린트헤드는 OLED 디스플레이 패터닝, OLED 조명 thin layer 코팅, 스마트폰과 같은 정확도가 요구되는 디스플레이 제조 기술에 이용될 것으로 기대된다.

차세대 플렉서블 디스플레이를 포함한 인쇄전자 시장은 2020년 약 2조엔 가량까지 성장할 것으로 예상되며(Konica Minolta 연구결과), 이 신제품이 인쇄전자 시장에 사용될 것으로 기대된다. 코니카 미놀타는 2011년 설립된 Japan Advanced Printed Electronics Technology Research Association (JAPERA)의 창립 멤버이다. 이 혁신적인 잉크젯 기술을 이용해 코니카 미놀타는 차세대 인쇄 전자 기술의 연구 개발해 기여하고 있다.

주요 특징

–       반도체 공정에 사용되는 실리콘 MEMS 기술 이용

–       1 피코리터 drop 사이즈의 인쇄 전자 기기를 위한 첫 번째 프린트헤드

–       고정밀 프린트 헤드 구조 : 38mm 인쇄폭,  한 줄에 128개의 노즐 설치

–       한 개의 노즐 단위로 정확도 드라이브 컨트롤

–       산업기기용 낮은 점도의 잉크 최적화와 높은 잉크 저항성

–       100nm 수준의 균일한 박막 코팅

–       OLED 디스플레이와 같은 디스플레이 제조 기술용으로 사용가능





주요 Application


OLED 디스플레이 패터닝, OLED 조명 박막 코닝, 고 정밀함을 요하는 새로운 제조기술, 스마트폰과 같은 고부가가치의 디스플레이.
[코니카미놀타 홈페이지]