OLED displays are made from organic emitter materials - and are gaining in popularity as these next-generation displays offer excellent image quality and novel form factors. The OLED display market is estimated at over $25 billion in 2018 - and is set for fast growth.
Quantum Dots are tiny particles that have excellent photonic emission properties - and are used widely today in many LCD displays as the QD photoluminescence features enable the conversion of blue LED light to red and green light to create full-color displays that are better than white-backlit LCDs. QD particles can also be used to create emissive displays, in which the QDs themselves emit the light - this technology may prove to be the successor to OLEDs as QDs could prove to have higher efficiency and a larger color gamut (narrow spectrum emission).
QD-OLED - hybrid OLED and QD displays
Several companies are looking to develop hybrid displays that use both OLEDs and Quantum Dots. There are several possibilities - to create displays in which some of the emitters are OLEDs and the rest are QDs, or to use QDs to convert blue OLED emission to a full color displays.
Samsung has been developing a hybrid QD-OLED TV technology, that adopts blue OLED emitters and quantum-dots that convert the blue light to red and green light.
Samsung hasn't committed yet to this technology, but it is expected that the South Korean display maker will start QD-OLED TV production by the end of 2019.
Samsung plans to convert its L8-1 8.5-Gen LCD fab to QD-OLED production. This will likely begin in the second half of 2019, but this will be a gradual conversion. The L8-1 has a current monthly capacity of 200,000 substrates, and following the conversion the capacity will be around 160,000-180,000 substrates. The mass production ramp-up will begin in 2020, and Samsung's total investment in QD-OLED technology and production in 2019-2021 will reach over 10 trillion Won (around $8.95 billion).
According to our information, Samsung is using a fluorescent blue emitter (will hopefully change to a higher efficiency one in later generations) and ink-jet printed QDs (in collaboration with Kateeva).
In March 2019 it was unveiled that China-based display maker TCL is developing a new hybrid display technology that uses a blue OLED emitter coupled with red and green QD emitters. All three emitter materials will be combined and printed using ink-jet printing technology. TCL calls this technology H-QLED and this could prove to be the technology of choice for TCL's future high-end emissive TV displays.
The latest QD OLED news:
In 2019 Samsung Display formally announced its decision to invest $10.85 billion in QD-OLED TV R&D and production lines. It was reported before that SDC is started to produce panel prototypes, and is on track to start mass production in Q3 2021.
According to a new report from Korea, SDC is set to begin producing full module prototypes in June this year. In addition SDC had to increase the brightness of its panels as TV makers said it is not enough for premium TV adoption. SDC will produce both TV and monitor prototypes, which it will send to potential customers (such as Samsung Electronics, Sony, and Chinese TV makers). When customers approve the prototypes, SDC will be ready for commercial production.
We are happy to announce a new Metalgrass knowledge hub, QuantumDots-Info.com. Our new site focuses on QuantumDots technologies for the display industry. QDs are already used in many displays, and it is likely that the future will bring us more types of QD Displays, including QDEL and QD-OLEDs.
QuantumDots-Info brings you daily news, commentary, resources and updates about QDs in the display industry. You can subscribe to our weekly QD display newsletter here - and if you have not done so already, be sure to also subscribe to the free monthly OLED newsletter!
In 2019, Doosan Corp spun-off its OLED materials unit, which is now called Doosan Solus (and is listed on the Korean stock market). The company's main OLED products are host materials and EIL and ETL layers.
According to The Elec in Korea, Doosan Solus currently produces so called "advanced" Electron Transporting Layer (aETL) for SDC's mobile AMOLED stack, and the company is now developing specialized aETL to be adopted by Samsung in its QD-OLED stack. Solus has been the exclusive supplier of ETL mateirals for SDC for the past eight years, and its materials are adopted in Samsung's latest M11 AMOLED stack.
In 2019 Samsung Display formally announced its decision to invest $10.85 billion in QD-OLED TV R&D and production lines. The company is already starting to produce prototypes, and is on track to start mass production in Q3 2021. Reports in 2020 suggested that Samsung Electronics was hesitant about the adoption of QD-OLED panels.
This may have changed now, as we hear that Samsung Electronics has decided to cooperate with SDC and release its first QD-OLED TV next year (2022).
DSCC posted an interesting post with its latest views and forecasts on the OLED material market. The company expects AMOLED stack material sales to grow at a 18% CAGR in the next five years, from $294 million in 2019 to $2.46 billion in 2024. Compared to its previous estimate, DSCC sees higher sales as demand for OLED TVs and OLEDs in the IT market (tablets and notebooks) is increasing.
DSCC also posted an analysis of LGD's new evo OLED material stack. Compared to LGD's "standard" WOLED stack, the evo adds an emitting green layer to improve the brightness by 20%. This of course adds an extra material cost to the panel price.
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Korea's The Elec says that Samsung Display aims to start trial runs at its QD-OLED 8.5-Gen production line next month (December 2020).
SDC will brand these displays as QD Displays. The first generation ones will adopt SDC's current hybrid QD-OLED architecture, but later ones may adopt QNED (quantum-rods) emitters. In any case, SDC's plan is to start mass production by the end of 2021, in the first line (15,000 monthly substrates). SDC is also planning a second line to follow the first, to arrive at a total of 30,000 monthly 8.5-Gen substrates.
According to UBI Research from Korea, Samsung Display has managed to improve its quantum dots nanorod LED (QNED) technology, and the company aims to start buying production equipment next year.
Apparently SDC's plan is to replace the fluorescent blue emitters in its QD-OLED TV production process, which will of course turn these TV panels into QD-QNED ones.
In October 2019 Samsung Display formally announced its decision to invest $10.85 billion in QD-OLED TV R&D and production lines. The company is already starting to produce prototypes, and is on track to start mass production in Q3 2021.
But SDC is facing a problem it probably did not anticipate - Samsung Electronics is hesitant about the adoption of QD-OLED panels, and may not ship QD-OLEDs in 2021 - or maybe even at all. Apparently Samsung Electronics wants to focus on microLEDs for next-generation displays as it finds QD-OLED TVs to be not bright enough - and also because it suffers from burn-in issues.
Samsung starts to ship QD-OLED TV prototypes to potential customers, may produce QD-OLED gaming monitors
According to Omdia, Samsung Display has started to provide QD-OLED TV prototypes to potential customers - including Samsung Electronics, Sony and Panasonic. Samsung Display is on track to start mass production in Q3 2021.
Interestingly, Samsung Electronics is still not sure whether it will adopt QD-OLED TVs in 2021, as the company aims to focus on mini-LED panels in 2021, and may only release QD-OLED TVs in 2022.