|Publication number||USRE41914 E1|
|Application number||US 11/825,328|
|Publication date||9 Nov 2010|
|Filing date||3 Jul 2007|
|Priority date||10 May 2002|
|Publication number||11825328, 825328, US RE41914 E1, US RE41914E1, US-E1-RE41914, USRE41914 E1, USRE41914E1|
|Original Assignee||Ponnusamy Palanisamy|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (99), Non-Patent Citations (7), Classifications (44), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is related to and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/379,456, filed May 10, 2002, for “Array Electrical Interconnections.”
The present invention relates to the field of electronic displays and, more particularly, to thermal management of these electronic displays.
Many presently available electronic displays employ one or more arrays of picture elements (hereinafter “pixels”) to display an image. Each pixel typically includes a light emitting material that emits light when a current is passed therethrough to illuminate the pixel. The current passing through the light emitting material of an illuminated pixel and through current supply lines supplying current thereto generates heat in the electronic display.
Generally, the output characteristic of each pixel within an array is thermally sensitive. When the heat generated from illuminating the pixels within the array is not properly managed (i.e., dissipated), the array may develop localized “hot spots,” which are small areas of an array that are significantly hotter than surrounding areas. These hot spots may lead to changes in the output characteristics of individual pixels or groups of pixels within the array, thereby causing different output characteristics to develop in individual pixels and groups of pixels within the array. These hotspots may also reduce the image quality of an electronic display and reduce its useful life.
Accordingly, displays with improved thermal management and methods for producing such displays are needed. The present invention fulfills this need among others.
A display in accordance with the present invention includes a front panel and a back panel spaced from the front panel to define a space therebetween. At least one pixel structure is adjacent the front panel in the space between the front and back panels and a plurality of electrical connections extend between the back panel and the at least one pixel structure. A plurality of thermo-mechanical elements extend between the back panel and the at least one pixel structure to dissipate heat from the at least one pixel structure toward the back panel. At least a portion of at least one of the thermo-mechanical elements is positioned between adjacent pixel structures of the at least one pixel structure.
The invention is described in terms of exemplary embodiments, which are illustrated in the drawing figures. The drawing figures are not to scale and may be exaggerated to aid in the description of the invention. Although the invention is described in terms of an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display device, it is contemplated that it may be practiced with other emissive display technologies employing elements such as electroluminescent elements, light emitting diodes, field emissive elements, plasma elements, or cathodoluminescent elements; or with reflective display technologies employing elements such as bistable, reflective cholesteric (BRC) liquid crystal elements.
The display module 302 includes a transparent front panel 306, e.g., a float glass plate. A plurality of pixel structures are formed adjacent the front panel 306. Each pixel structure includes a column electrode 308, display material 310, and a row electrode 312. The column electrodes 308 are formed on the front panel 306. In an exemplary embodiment, the column electrodes 308 are formed by depositing thin bands of a transparent conductor, e.g., indium-tin oxide (ITO), using well known processes.
The display materials 310 are then deposited on the column electrodes 308 to define the active area of the pixel structure, which is described in further detail below. In an exemplary embodiment, the display materials 310 are red, green, and blue OLED materials that are selectively deposited on top of the column electrodes 308 to form a “color” display tile 300.
The row electrodes 312 are then formed on the display materials 310. In the illustrated embodiment, the row electrodes 312 are substantially perpendicular to the column electrodes 308 and together form a grid pattern that allows each of the active pixel areas to be addressed by specifying a column number and a row number. In an exemplary embodiment, the row electrodes 312 are formed from a polysilicon material or from a metal such as aluminum using standard deposition techniques.
An insulating layer 314 is formed on top of the row electrodes 312. The exemplary insulating layer 314 may be formed from any of a number of insulating materials. In an exemplary embodiment, the insulating layer 314 is desirably formed using low-temperature processes to protect the display materials 310. Exemplary insulating layers 314 known low-temperature inorganic materials, that can be formed using low-temperature processes. The insulating layer 314 may be applied using thick film or thin film deposition techniques. The insulating layer 314 includes a plurality of openings 316 enabling electrical connection with the row electrodes 312 or column electrodes 308 of the pixel structures and enabling thermo-mechanical connections to one or more locations within the display module 302. The formation of electrical connections and thermo-mechanical connections are described in further detail below.
On top of the insulating layer 314 are deposited a plurality of conductor traces 318. In an exemplary embodiment, the conductor traces 318 are formed using vapor deposited aluminum or a metallic ink or paste, such as silver combined with a solvent, which is deposited using thick film processes. Each of the conductor traces 318 is electrically coupled to one of the column electrodes 308 or one of the row electrodes 312, and/or thermo-mechanically connected to one or more positions within the display module 302, by vias (not shown) that extend through the openings 316 in the insulating layers 314. Via is used in the broadest sense and includes conductors that go through openings in the layer(s) and those that go around the edge of a layer(s).
Each of the exemplary conductor traces-318 makes electrical contact with only one row electrode 312 or one column electrode 308. To ensure that a good connection is made, however, each conductor trace 318 may connect to its corresponding row or column electrode 312, 308 at several locations. Because each conductor trace 318 makes electrical contact with only one row or column electrode, the number of conductor traces 318 is greater than or equal to the sum of the number of column electrodes 308 and the number of row electrodes 312 in the tile 300.
The circuit module 304 includes image processing and display driving circuitry 200 (FIG. 2), a circuit board 202, conductive traces 204, and connecting pads 320. The circuit board 202 is a back panel that is spaced from the front panel 306 to accommodate the pixel structures in a space therebetween.
Vias 322 electrically connect the conductive traces 204 to the connecting pads 320 through the circuit board 202. In an exemplary embodiment, the conductive traces 204, vias 322, and connecting pads 320 are formed using thick film deposition processes to apply a metallic ink or paste. In an alternative exemplary embodiment, the connecting pads 320 are formed from vapor-deposited aluminum. In an exemplary embodiment, each connecting pad 320 of the circuit module 304 corresponds to a conductor trace 318 of the display module 302.
The display module 302 and the circuit module 304 are combined to form the display tile 300. In an exemplary embodiment, the connecting pads 320 are electrically connected to the corresponding conductor traces 318 by applying an anisotropically conductive adhesive between the display module 302 and the circuit module 304. Alternative methods for electrically connecting the connecting pads 320 to the conductor traces 318 will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art.
In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, thermo-mechanical elements 418 are provided to thermally couple the pixel structures to the circuit module 304 (FIG. 1). The thermo-mechanical elements 418 may be positioned throughout each pixel structure and, in certain embodiments, are positioned between adjacent pixel structures within the display module 302. For example, thermo-mechanical elements 418 may be placed between each active pixel area not having an electrical connection via 414, 416; next to the electrical connections; under the active pixel area (element shown in phantom); or essentially anywhere on and in the vicinity of the display module 302 to dissipate heat from the display module 302 to the circuit module 304.
In certain exemplary embodiments, the thermo-mechanical elements 418 provide a redundant electrical connection between the row and column electrodes and the circuit module 302. In these embodiments, the thermo-mechanical elements 418 may be vias formed from the same materials as the electrical connections 414, 416, e.g., InSn solder or a silver filled epoxy adhesive. In certain other exemplary embodiments, one or more of the thermo-mechanical elements 418 are electrically non-functional. In accordance with this embodiment, the thermo-mechanical elements 418 may be separated from conductors on one or both ends of the via 418 with a passivation layer or may be formed from a dielectric material such as an epoxy filled with materials having suitable thermal conduction properties, e.g., diamond, BN, AlN, and/or SiC. The selection of suitable material for forming the thermo-mechanical elements 418 will be readily apparent to those of skill in the related arts.
A transparent column electrode 308, e.g., ITO is formed on the front panel 306. A display material 310 formed upon the column electrode 308 defines the active portion 410 (
In the embodiment illustrated in
In an exemplary embodiment, the thermo-mechanical elements 606b have a larger cross-sectional area than the electrical connections 606a to improve the thermal transfer capabilities of the thermo-mechanical elements. In certain exemplary embodiments, the thermo-mechanical elements 606b are sized to maximize thermal transfer capabilities without adversely affecting the operation of the display. Although the thermo-mechanical elements 606b in
Although the thermo-mechanical elements 608b in
In certain exemplary embodiments, the circuit module 304 includes at least one layer selected based on its heat dispersion properties. In an exemplary embodiment, the at least one layer dissipates at least the heat received from the pixel structure 602 at the circuit module 304 via the thermo-mechanical elements 606b, 608b. In certain exemplary embodiments, the at least one layer dissipates heat received from the pixel structure 602 at the circuit module 304 via the electrical connections 606a, 608a and/or the underfill encapsulant 610 as well. In an exemplary embodiment, the at least one layer is formed from a material selected from alumina or aluminum nitride.
In certain exemplary embodiments, reflections from the row electrodes 312 and the connections 606, 608 are minimized by minimizing their surface area or by coating the “viewer side” of these components black. The column electrodes 308, which in an exemplary embodiment are transparent, are not an issue since they reflect only a small amount of light. Coating the viewer side of the row electrodes 312 and the connections 606, 608 black can be accomplished by first depositing a conductive black coating (e.g. carbon black) in all areas where viewable metal electrodes or connections will be later deposited. In certain embodiments, the shape of the connections may be such that reflections are minimized, e.g, having an oval cross-section with the widest portion perpendicular to the nearest active pixel area 410 (FIG. 4). Various other techniques and shapes for minimizing reflections will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art and are considered within the scope of the present invention.
In certain exemplary embodiments, the connections 606, 608 are designed to reflect light from the display material 310 toward the viewer side of the display. In accordance with this embodiment, stray light (i.e., light emitted from the display material in a direction that is not viewable on the display side) is reflected toward the display side to increase the amount of visible light emitted by the display material. In this manner, the connections 606, 608 contribute to the efficiency of the pixel structure. Accordingly, displays with increased light output or displays with similar light output emitted from smaller sized display materials are achievable. In addition, reflecting the light toward the viewer side reduces the amount of light absorbed by the pixel structure, thereby preventing this stray light from generating heat within the pixel structure.
Although the invention is illustrated and described herein with reference to specific embodiments, the invention is not intended to be limited to the details shown. Rather, various modifications may be made in the details within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims and without departing from the invention.
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|U.S. Classification||313/484, 349/73, 313/506, 349/153, 313/512|
|International Classification||H01J1/62, H01J63/04, H01L51/52, H05K7/20, H05K1/18, G02F1/133, H01J29/00, H05K1/14, G02F1/1333, H05K1/02, H05K3/34, H01L27/32, G02F1/1339, H05K3/36, H05K3/32, H01J17/28|
|Cooperative Classification||H01L2251/5338, H05K3/3436, G02F1/13336, H01L27/3288, H01L51/529, H05K1/0203, H01L27/3293, G02F1/133382, H05K7/20963, H01J2211/66, H01J2329/002, H01J29/006, G02F1/1339, H05K2201/10128, H01L51/5246, H05K3/0058|
|European Classification||H05K7/20Z5, H01J29/00D, H01L51/52H, H01L27/32M4W, H05K1/02B2, H01L51/52C2C, G02F1/1339|
|23 Jun 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TRANSPACIFIC INFINITY, LLC, DELAWARE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TRANSPACIFIC IP LTD.;REEL/FRAME:022856/0281
Effective date: 20090601
|2 Jan 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8