Samsung Display has been developing polarizer-free AMOLED displays for many years, and last year UBI detailed how the company plans to use color filters to eliminate the need for polarizers and so increase the efficiency of their OLED panels while also lowering the thickness.
DSCC posted an interested article that details Samsung's upcoming polarizer-free OLEDs, which it brands as POL-LESS OLEDs. The first OLEDs to adopt this new structure are expected to be adopted in Samsung's Galaxy Fold 3 later this year.
The polarizer layer eliminates reflections in an OLED panel - but it adds about 50-100 micron in thickness, and it also blocks some of the light which reduces the brightness. Replacing the polarizer with a color filter makes sense - the thickness of the CF structure is less than 5 microns which is very useful - especially in foldable OLEDs.
To achieve that engineering feat, Samsung and its partners had to develop three different technologies - a black Pixel Definition Layer (PDL), a new color filter design and a new black matrix. You can see how these layers are used in the image above. The main idea is that each sub-pixel in the display (red, green or blue) are separated from each other and so do not interfere one with the other.
While this designs improves the performance of the OLED, it will also add significant complexity to the production process. There are also some technical challenges that SDC has to overcome before it achieves mass production.
According to DSCC, current POL-LESS prototypes improve the brightness of Samsung's OLEDs by 20-30%. By combining POL-LESS with LTPO, Samsung can achieve a power consumption reduction of more than 30% compared to current LTPO OLEDs.