OLED is an emerging display technology that enables beautiful and efficient displays and lighting panels. OLEDs are already being used in smartphones, laptops, wearables, tablets and TVs, and many of OLEDs are flexible ones.
A flexible OLED is based on a flexible substrate (usually polyimide). The first generation of OLEDs produced on these were not really flexible from the user perspective. The device maker bends the displays, or curves it - but the final user is not able to actually bend the device. These first-gen flexible OLEDs are adopted many premium smartphones, for example the Samsung edge-type Galaxy phones or Apple's latest iPhones. A plastic-based OLED has several advantages especially in mobile devices - the displays are lighter, thinner and more durable compared to glass based displays.
Second generation flexible OLED displays can be bent by the user - these can be used for example to create foldable smartphones - the first range of which started shipping in 2019. Rollable OLEDs are also now entering the market for both TVs and smartphones.
Where to buy flexible OLEDs?
While several companies (including Samsung, LG, BOE and others) are producing OLED displays, it is not straightforward to find a good and reliable supply of these displays.
If you are interested in buying a flexible OLED panel for your project or device, look no further. Our OLED Marketplace offers several flexible OLEDs, which can be ordered through us with ease.
The latest flexible OLED news:
China-based Visionox demonstrated many OLED displays and new technologies at Display Week 2023.
So first up, we have some rollable and foldable OLEDs. You can see some impressive looking such flexible OLEDs in the video above, and Visionox featured many such displays at their booth.
TCL CSoT had several interesting new OLED demonstrations at SID DisplayWeek 2023, all of which were produced by inkjet printing, which shows the company's commitment to the new production process.
First up is the company latest inkjet-printed panel, this time CSoT showed a 8K (7680 × 4320) 65" TV panel that is foldable (with a bending radius of 25 mm). The panel offers a peak brightness of 800 nits, a response time of under 1 ms and a refresh rate of 120Hz.
During Display Week 2023, BOE showcased a 15" 2560x1600 rollable OLED display.
The display offered a rollable radius of 10 mm (outwards), and can roll 50 mm of its length, changing from the full 15" 16:9 display to a 13.6" 24:9. This is not as impressive as Samsung's rollable demo that grew 5 times its original rolled size.
Taiwan-based AU Optronics (AUO) demonstrated several microLED display prototypes at Display Week 2023, showing the company's focus on microLED display technology as its next-gen platform.
Sample displays include a 13.5" Full-HD 5,000-nits 55% transparent display, a 17.3" transparent panel that includes an embedded LC layer so it turn from 55% transparency to an almost completely opaque display, a 14.5" 2560x1440 foldable laptop display that is based on blue microLEDs with QD color conversion, and more.
Samsung Display demonstrated many OLED technologies at Display Week 2023, which we'll detail below. It seems that the main new technology was the Sensor OLED Display, which is an OLED with an embedded sensor that can perform fingerprint sensing in addition to blood pressure, heart rate sensing and stress level sensing (all from reading the finger), which the company says is the first such display in the world.
The Sensor OLED Display embeds light-sensing organic photodiodes (OPDs) inside the display itself, which allows it to perform the sensing functions all over the display. Samsung explains that as OLED light is reflected differently depending on the contraction and relaxation of the blood vessels inside the finger, the OPD senses the light when it returns to the panel, and converts it into health information.
DSCC says that BOE's market share in the flexible (and foldable) smartphone OLED market has risen to 27% in Q1 2023. BOE flexible and foldable OLED panel sales grew 81% in Q1 2023 compared to last year, as the company enjoys growing sales to Apple, Huawei, Oppo, Realme, Vivo and ZTE. BOE is mostly taking market share from Samsung and LG, while Tianma's market share is also on the rise.
DSCC estimates that flagship smartphone shipments grew 17% in the first quarter, with flexible OLED smartphone shipments growing 18% and foldable ones growing 4%.
Researchers at the University of Chicago, led by Sihong Wang (above) and Juan de Pablo, developed a stretchable OLED device that uses TADF emitters to enable high efficiency and high stretchability.
The researchers say that this is the highest-efficiency stretchable display demonstrated to date, as all previous designs used fluorescent OLED emitters. The TADF stretchable device achieves 10% EQE and a stretchability of 125%. The substrate of this new device is a newly synthesized polymer.
The following is a sponsored article by Coherent
It’s well known that laser technology is critical for making OLED displays. In particular, the use of excimer laser annealing (ELA) to transform the amorphous silicon deposited on the display mother glass into polycrystalline silicon is essential for proper device performance.
But lasers are used at many other key steps in the production process. Several of these involve high precision cutting. The figure identifies two of these. The first is FlexOLED shape and hole cutting. The second is coverglass and window cutting.
DSCC says that even though the display market is facing difficult market conditions, the automotive displays segment is expected to continue growing, and total shipments (both LCDs and OLEDs) are expected to exceed 200 million panels (an average of over 2 displays per car).
OLEDs are still a small percentage of the market (less than 0.5%, in fact), but OLEDs will gradually penetrate high-end applications for flagship models, as OLED makers adopt flexible and tandem-architecture technologies.
French Champagne maker Cattier launched illuminated and interactive labels, powered by OLED lighting panels produced by Inuru. The project was handled by bespoke packaging platform Packhelp. The Cattier label lights up as the champagne is being poured from the bottle into a glass, and the illumination can be also enabled on demand, by a simple touch.
Inuru says that the first batch of bottles with the new labels will ship soon on select markets. Inuru produces flexible and water-proof OLED lighting panels using a printing process.