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:
DSCC updated its capacity and demand outlook for the OLED industry. DSCC says that the oversupply situation for smartphone OLEDs will continue to effect the industry for years ahead.
According to DSCC the reason for the oversupply is Samsung's near-monopoly on flexible OLED phone panels - and the fact that the company keeps prices high and prefers high profit margins even though it leads to low utilization rates. DSCC sees China's capacity (which includes LG's Gunagzhou fab) share to rise from 5% in 2017 to 30% in 2020 and finally to 49% in 2025.
Reuters reports that Samsung Display has decided to stop all LCD production by the end of 2020. The company will continue to support it current customers without any issues.
SDC has two LCD production lines in Korea. One of these will be converted to next-generation QD-OLED TV panels (in a $10.8 billion investment announced in October 2019). According to Reuters, the second line will also be converted to QD-OLED in the future. SDC did not yet decide what will it do with its two LCD production lines in China.
TCL and Juhua Printing demonstrated a 31" FHD inkjet-printed rollable hybrid QD-OLED TV prototype. The display uses an IGZO (Oxide-TFT) backplane and TCL says that it has an aperture ratio of over 50%, brightness of 200 nits and a 90% DCI-P3 color gamut.
TCL's hybrid display technology (which TCL calls H-QLED) uses a blue OLED emitter coupled with red and green QD emitters. All three emitter materials are combined and printed using ink-jet printing technology.
In October 2019 Samsung Display formally announced its decision to invest $10.85 billion in QD-OLED TV R&D and production lines. SDC was supposed to start the plan in 2019, but according to a report from China the Company is delaying its initial investment. Originally mass production was supposed to begin in Q1 2021, but this may happen later if the investment is delayed.
It seems as if equipment makers expected to receive orders for production equipment, but that did not happen. The report says that Samsung decided to make personnel changes and transfer in January 2020 and only after these changes will the company finalize its investment plan in the new OLED TV fab.
Samsung Display formally announced its decision to invest ₩13.1 trillion (around $10.85 billion USD) in QD-OLED TV R&D and production lines. The investment plan will span 6 years (2019-2025) and the first step will be to convert an LCD production line in SDC's L8 fab in Tangjong, Korea to QD-OLED production.
The Tangjong line will be converted from 125k monthly substrates of LCD production to 30k monthly QD-OLED substrates, and mass production will begin in Q1 2021. In the long run SDC plans to convert all its 8-Gen LCD lines (360,000 monthly substrates) to QD-OLED production (which will yield around 100,000 monthly QD-OLED substrates).
Business Korea says that Samsung Display has finalized its QD-OLED TV production plans. The company will invest 13 trillion Won (around $10.85 billion) to convert its L8 LCD production line in Tangjeong to QD-OLED production.
According to the report, SDC's investment will be the single largest investment in Korea's display industry ever. The L8-1-1 LCD line will be shut down immediately, and converted to QD-OLED production. SDC will also shut down its second line (L8-2-1) and in total the two fabs will be able to produce 200,000 8-Gen glass substrates each month (down from the current 360,000 substrates in LCD production today). Mass production of QD-OLED panels will begin in 2022.
Samsung has been developing its QD-OLED TV technology for a long time, but the company did not yet commit to actual production. Now Samsung Display's CEO officially announced that the company is "making good efforts" to launch QD-OLED panels in the "near future".
SDC has decided to shut down on of its 8.5-Gen LCD lines in Asan Korea, which will be converted to QD-OLED production in the future.
China-based display maker CSoT demonstrated several new OLED display prototypes and technologies at SID 2019, and this great new video shows these displays in action.
First up is a 31" 4K (3840 x 2160, 144 PPI) AMOLED that was produced using an ink-jet printing process on an IGZO substrate. The peak brightness is 200 nits and the refresh rate is 120 Hz. This seems to be the same panel announced in March 2018 by Joshua Printing Display Technology (established by CSoT and Tianma in 2016). The display has some noticable defects.
Samsung has not committed yet to its QD-OLED TV technology, and according to a new report from Korea the company will make its final decision by the end of June (or early July). Samsung originally planned to hold an investment review committee on April 2019 but that did not materialize. According to an industry insider, Samsung already decided to start QD-OLED TV production, the only question is timing.
Samsung's plan is to shut down an LCD TV production line and convert it to QD-OLED production - although Business Korea now suggests that another possibility is to build a new production line instead of its planned A5 fab (which was delayed/canceled in early 2018).
CSoT demonstrated the first public QD-OLED display, during SID 2019. The company unveiled a 6.6" display that features a relatively low resolution (384x300) and brightness (50 nits). The backplane of this prototype is an Oxide-TFT.
The QD-OLED is made from blue OLED emitters with a quantum-dots color conversion layer. This is a similar design to Samsung's QD-OLED TV technology. Interestingly earlier this year CSoT's parent company TCL has unveiled a different QD-OLED technology it refers to as H-QLED which uses a combination of OLED and QD emitters.