New production method promises cheaper flexible OLED screens
A startup company called Kateeva promises to make the mass production flexible OLED screens cheaper and easier next year. The company has come up with a clever process to apply protective coating on OLEDs, and it's a lot faster, too.
The problem with flexible displays is their protection against moisture and oxygen. Just a dash of either could kill an OLED display, making the process of sealing the display into a safe encapsulation not only hard, but also expensive.
Kateeva's way of making flexible OLEDs makes it possible for manufacturers to integrate their "printing" process into their production lines without too much hassle. Their method of "printing" a protective layer over the flexible OLED cuts cost in half. At least that's what the company promises.
Making the whole thing touch sensitive is another story entirely. The traditional implementation of transparent ITO electrodes (indium tin oxide) isn't good enough for bendable displays. To the rescue comes another startup called Canatu, which embraces carbon nanotubes in favor of the ITO electrodes.
The carbon nanotubes are more conductive and survive the flexible display yoga much better. We suspect Samsung has a lot to say on the matter once it announces the Galaxy Note Edge with its three-sided YOUM display.