Article last updated on: Mar 20, 2019

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.

LG EG9100 photo

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 QD-OLED

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.

QD-OLED stack scheme (DSCC, Oct-2018)



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).

TCL H-QLED

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.

TCL H-QLED slide (OLED Korea 2019)

For more information on TCL's H-QLED, click here.

The latest QD OLED news:

Reports from Korea estimate SDC's QD-OLED investments at $8.8 billion between 2019 and 2021

In April 2018 Samsung announced it is developing QD-OLEDs (hybrid Quantum Dots - OLED) TVs. Later reports suggested that the company is building its first production line, with aims to begin pilot production in 2019.

Samsung QD-OLED structure (UBI Research)

According to a new report from Korea, if Samsung's initial QD-OLED development is successful, it plans to convert an existing LCD line (SDC's 8-Gen L8-1 line) to QD-OLED production in 2020. Samsung's projected investment in its QD-OLED production will exceed $8.8 billion between 2019 and 2021.

DSCC: Samsung to begin pilot QD-OLED production in 2019

DSCC estimates that Samsung will begin pilot production of QD-OLEDs in 2019, with a capacity of 5,000 monthly 8.5-Gen substrates. If this is successful, Samsung will double the capacity in 2020 and add a further 30,000 yearly substrates in 2021 and again in 2022. Material revenues for Samsung's QD-OLED TVs will reach $56 million in 2022.

Material revenue forecast for QD-OLED TVs (DSCC, 2016-2022)

DSCC admits, though, that as Samsung faces several technical challenges before it could launch commercial QD-OLED TVs, its forecast could be way off - there's a good chance that SDC will cancel the project, or it could increase capacity at a much faster rate than DSCC estimates and even scale-up production to 10.5-Gen.

DSCC lowers its OLED revenue forecast for 2019-2022, sees the market at $50 billion in 2022

Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) updated its AMOLED market forecast, and the company now expects revenues to grow from $26 billion in 2018 to $50 billion in 2022.

OLED market revenue & growth (2016-2022, DSCC)

DSCC sees fast growth for the OLED market, driven by flexible and foldable displays - and the flexible OLED market will grow at a 32% CAGR from 2018 to 2022. Only a few months ago, though, DSCC estimated that revenues in 2022 will reach $57.2 billion by 2022.

DSCC updates its display equipment market forecast, says recovery is not expected until 2022

Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) updated its display equipment spending forecasts, and the company now expects OLED spending to recover only in 2022. In June 2018, DSCC estimated that the OLED equipment market will start to recover in 2020.

Display equipment spending forecast (2016-2022, DSCC)

DSCC says that the whole display market is currently saturated after unprecedented equipment spending in 2016-2018 (an average of $22 billion per year for both LCDs and OLEDs) - for both mobile display and TV display production. Display production is expected to grow at 10% per year from 2018-2020 (as a result of the equipment orders in 2016-2018), and combined with lower operation margins and losses in the display market are causing display makers to be cautious with new capacity plans.

ETNews: SDC is building a QD-OLED TV pilot production line

In February 2018 it was first reported that Samsung Display is developing TV panels based on hybrid quantum-dots and OLED architecture (QD-OLED). Samsung later confirmed it is developing such technology, but with no immediate plans to commercialize it.

Samsung QD-OLED structure (UBI Research)

ETNews now reports that Samsung is now working to establish a pilot 8-Gen line for QD-OLED production. ETNews says that Samsung is collaborating with both Canon Tokki and Kateeva to develop the production equipment - apparently the OLED layers will be evaporated using Canon's machines while the QD filters will be deposited using ink-jet printing equipment made by Kateeva. Samsung aims to finalize the production line by the second half of 2019.

Samsung: no plans to release an OLED TV soon, but we are researching hybrid QD-OLEDs

In February it was reported that Samsung is developing a hybrid Quantum-Dots OLED technology for its future TVs. This report was soon denied by Samsung's Visual Display Business VP, Han Jong-hee, who said that Samsung is sticking to its two-track strategy for premium TVs, namely QD-LCDs and Micro-LEDs.

Samsung OLED TV (2013)

Today Samsung's Han Jong-hee again says that Samsung has no plans to produce an OLED TV any time soon - but he does confirm that the company is researching a way to combine QDs with OLEDs. According to our information, Samsung's main R&D initiative use blue OLED emitters and blue light to white light conversion using quantum-dots, combined with color filters (QDCFs) to add red and green colors.

Samsung denies it is developing QD-OLED TVs, will focus on Micro-LEDs and QLEDs

Last week we reported that ETNews claims that Samsung is developing a hybrid Quantum-Dots OLED technology for its future TVs.

Today Yonhap News reports that Samsung Visual Display Business VP, Han Jong-hee, denies this story, saying that Samsung sticks to its two-track strategy for the high-end TV market, developing both QLED (quantum-dots enhanced LED LCDs) and Micro-LED TVs. Han further says that Samsung will start selling its Wall Micro-LED TV in August 2018.

ETNews: Samsung is developing hybrid QD-OLED TVs

ETNews posted an interesting article, claiming that Samsung Display is developing a new TV technology that combines OLED emitters with quantum-dot photo-luminescence materials. The basic idea is to use blue OLED emitters and then convert the blue light to white light using quantum-dots combined with color filters (QDCFs) to add red and green colors.

Samsung OLED TVs (2013)

This seems to be a rather complicated design, but it could be much easier to produce compared to a true RGB OLED TV, as there is no need for precise OLED patterning. This is similar to LG's WRGB OLED TVs which use a white OLED source (made from yellow and blue emitters) and color filters on top.

Nanoco and Kyulux to co-develop hybrid OLED / QLED display technology

Hyperfluoresence and TADF OLED emitter developer Kyulux and quantum-dot developer Nanoco announced that the two companies will co-develop a future-generation hybrid OLED / QLED display technology that combines Kyulux's hyperflourescent emitters and Nanoco's heavy metal free quantum dots (CDQDs).

Nanoco CFQD materials photo

Kyulux and Nanoco say that future displays based on this technology will have superior qualities compared to existing displays - high degree of brightness, energy efficiency, color purity and low cost.

Atomic Force Microscopy for next-gen OLED processesAtomic Force Microscopy for next-gen OLED processes