Han Kawn-young, professor of Dept. of Display Engineering, developed an OLED Display module that reprocesses used equipment, a pioneering invention in the world of display technologies. Through the use of this technology, defective products that are normally disposed of, are recycled and re-used, lessening the loss ratio for manufacturers. The novel equipment was developed with the help of other domestic technology companies. To learn more about this innovative technology and the Professor who invented it, the Dankook Herald (DKH) conducted an interview with Professor Han Kawn-young.
|▲ Professor Han Gawn-yeong during an interview about his invention, OLED display reprocessing equipment. (Photo from Dankook University)|
Q1: Can you explain your OLED display module domestic reprocessing equipment?
A: The flexible display is a polymer polyimide film. A window, called a glass cover, is placed on top of the film to protect the display. In order to bond them together, an OCA (Optically Clear Adhesive) is applied. But once we attach the layers, we can't separate them. That is because the adhesive used is industrial strength and will cause irreparable damage if forcibly removed. Apart from the gluing process, if a foreign body is present on the board, or if the mutual alignment is turned off, it will cause a high level of defects. If there are gluing issues, the display complex, which consists of the Panel, TSP, Polarity, IC, and a Camera module, will be discarded as it passes through dozens of processes. As a result, an estimated $50 to $60 is lost per faulty product produced. Even if only 5% of the products manufactured are faulty per month, the loss would be approximately 230 to 270 billion won. It's a huge loss that happens every month. Hence, we can definitely view this as a lifesaving device, as is not only fixes these faulty devices, but it also reuses the parts.
Q2: What is the significance and importance of this technology?
A: It's very meaningful to be the world's first flexible display reprocessing equipment. This technology will enable us to fix faulty products and reuse not only Bended Displays, but also Foldable and Rollable Displays. So, the fact that the equipment we developed will play a certain role in turning defective products into good products is significant. Currently, Chinese OLED manufacturers lag far behind South Korea in production due to a decrease in yields. At this point, our technology has localized and developed OLED regenerative equipment, with 100% of our technology being used to enhance our national competitiveness.
Q3: What were your intentions in developing the OLED Display module reprocessing equipment?
A: When I worked at Samsung Display as an executive director, I realized that lots of Flexible OLED were damaged during the lamination process. I always wanted to develop equipment or technology that decreased that loss ratio. The opportunity to develop the OLED Display module reprocessing equipment arose while working at Dankook University, so I took it.
Q4: Did you have any difficulties developing the equipment and how did you overcome them?
A: OCA, which is an intercalation glue used in OLED displays, is a difficult material to work with because alien substances are stained when you try to tear off. To eliminate it completely, I found a way to remove the surface energy, which was the focus my doctorate degree. By using this concept, I was able to resolve 70% of the problem. As a result, I knew “I could do it if I tried.” So, I addressed the problems one by one and ended up making the OLED Display modules reprocessing equipment.
Q5: I wonder if you have any plans to apply this technology to Dankook University and if so, where and how do you plan to apply it.
A: Although I do not plan to apply the OLED equipment in schools right away, I expect we will export the OLED reworking equipment, to large domestic companies and Japan. We will consider exporting it to China, too.
Q6: Please tell us your plans for the future.
A: I'm working in my lab called “The Flexible Display Lab” and we are developing several devices. We are focusing on advanced equipment, in line with the future developments of display technologies. Moreover, I plan to create innovative equipment that are world firsts, contribute to the development of the company and enhance our national competitiveness by supplying it to Korean industries first. Also, I hope this will aid students who studied at Dankook University in acquiring jobs. I believe they will become industrial forces and contribute greatly to enhancing national competitiveness.
Q7: Lastly, if you could give any advice to students of Dankook University's Department of Display Engineering who dream of developing new technology like yourself, what would you say?
A: These days, young people like students have a hard time finding a job, but there are still lots of things you can do in the world and ways you can contribute to society and family. Don't give up hope and always do your best during your youth with confidence. Then you will take a step forward towards your dreams and follow the path of success you want! Thirty years later, when you look back, you will feel you’ve had a great time with no regrets.
|▲ Professor Han- Gwanyeong's most important invention - a device that can bond curved OLED panels and window covers by using OCR (liquid-solid-state polymerizer). (Photo from 연합뉴스)|
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