Indium Blog

Miniaturization in LED Technology: MicroLED Augmented Reality

  • LED Solder

  • MicroLED assembly is coming to mass commercialization soon and Indium Corporation, as a solder supplier, is ready for this new LED-augmented reality.

    In my previous blogs regarding the differences between miniLEDs and microLEDs, I’ve mentioned how difficult it is to assemble devices with these display systems. I’d like to touch a little bit more on microLEDs today and also in some future posts I have planned. There are many opportunities for mass commercialization of microLEDs and today I will cover one of those applications. If you’ve been reading closely, you should already be able to guess what that application is.

    What piqued my interest recently was Google recently acquiring a microLED display startup, Raxium, with the tech giant having a $1 billion valuation on the five-year-old company. What’s interesting about this acquisition is that it comes about a year after the last VR product in Google’s portfolio was removed from the Google store. Perhaps Google’s interest has been renewed after seeing the potential benefits microLEDs can have in the augmented reality space?

    MicroLEDs in augmented reality displays have a few benefits. They’re quite bright in and of themselves and, when compared to traditional organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, allow devices like smart glasses to be used comfortably outdoors. The other benefit of microLEDs when compared to OLEDs is efficiency, and that’s the key advantage that Raxium claims to have with their microLED displays.

    “They claim to have been able to achieve very good performance for red (R), green (G), and blue (B) microLEDs at very small sizes without significant efficiency loss,” said Ross Young, co-founder and CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants in an email with CNET. “Achieving good R, G, and B performance on a single wafer without color conversion is impressive enough, but to do it at <5µm is even more impressive.”

    So, with these benefits, what’s stopping microLEDs from entering the mass commercialization space? The most important point is assembly challenges. Everything becomes more expensive and difficult at smaller die sizes, and there is no proven best way to assemble microLEDs en masse as of today.

    I’ll get into more detail on assembly techniques in my next post. However, there are ways that Indium Corporation solder pastes can assist across all assembly challenges. Indium Corporation’s newest paste foray into the microLED space offers a few key characteristics that help with microLED assembly, specifically high tack strength to ensure microLEDs with around a 5µm die size remain in place during assembly, as well as a long print life to ensure optimum performance throughout a production cycle. This is in addition to the typical fine-powder solder paste benefits such as powder oxidation barriers, surface insulation resistance (SIR) reliability, and minimal voiding. Learn more here!

    Next time I’ll get into more microLED applications, but hopefully this gives an overview on how Indium Corporation solder paste can make microLED augmented reality a reality.