TADF, or Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence, is a relatively new class of OLED emitter materials that promise efficient and long-lifetime performance without any heavy metals. TADF research started in earnest in 2012, and TADF emitters are expected to become commercial by 2018.

Blue TADF emitter molecules

There are currently three main challenges with OLED emitters that TADF aims to solve - an efficient and long-lasting blue color emitter, low cost alternatives current red and green emitters and the development of soluble OLEDs that can be deposited using low cost ink-jet printing or other "wet" methods.

TADF is being developed by several companies. Japan-based Kyulux was established to commercialize Prof. Adachi's HyperFluoresence TADF technology. Germany-based Cynora is focusing on a blue TADF emitter. Both companies aim to release their first commercial materials in late 2017 or early 2018.

Idemitsu Kosan also considers TADF as one of the key OLED technologies and intends to focus on TADF in the future (although Idemitsu's actual TADF plans are not clear yet). UDC has been recently awarded a patent on TADF materials, although the company says that TADF is not in its focus.

The EU launched two TADF related collaborative research projects to focus on TADF emitters, Project HyperOLED and the 2015 project Phebe.

Latest TADF OLED news

Updates from the TADF symposium: Cynora's latest blue, SDC and LGD hopeful on TADF

Sep 17, 2017

A few days ago, Cynora hosted the 2017 International TADF Symposium in Frankfurt, Germany. Cynora reports that about 150 attendees from all over the world listened to experts from the industry and academia and were updated on the latest news regarding TADF OLED emitters.

TADF Symposium photo 2017

Cynora itself showed an update on its latest blue emitter. The company now has material that features a CIEy of 0.18 (target - 0.1), EQE of 14% (target 15%) and a lifetime of 10 hours LT97 at 700 nits (target is over 100 hours). Cynora says that development is progressing well and it is confident it will reach its target material performance by the end of the year.

Cynora announces its Series-B funding round, raises €25 million from Samsung and LG

Sep 14, 2017

Cynora announced that it finalized its Series-B funding round. Both Samsung (via Samsung Ventures) and LG Display participated in this round which totaled €25 million. Both LGD and samsung will also establish separate joint development efforts to assist in advancing Cynora's R&D.

Cynora did not disclose how much did each company invest, although earlier reports suggested that LG invested €15 million while Samsung invested €10 million.

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Korea's Material Science joins the TADF emitter race

Sep 10, 2017

OLED chemical maker Material Science started to develop blue TADF emitters, hoping to be the first company to offer an efficient blue emitter.

Material Science OLED materials image

According to OLEDNet, Material Science has finished the development of a new fluorescent blue emitter and host system, which it now aims to offer to Samsung and LGD for commercial AMOLED production. Material Science currently offer ETL and HTL materials to OLED makers, with sales reaching $5.8 million in 2016. The company expects its sales to exceed $8.8 million in 2017.

Wisechip explains the development effort behind its HF-TADF PMOLED

Aug 23, 2017

Last month PMOLED maker WiseChip demonstrated a Hyperfluoresence TADF PMOLED display in a trade show in Japan, following a collaboration with HF TADF developer Kyulux. Wisechip says it will bring its first HF-TADF PMOLEDs to the market by the end of 2017.

Kyulux today uploaded Wisechip's presentation from the TADF workshop. In this lecture Wisechip’s VP of R&D Engineering Division, Dr. York Tsai, gave a presentation that detailed the Hyperfluorescence-PMOLED development effort and the performance boost enabled by the new material.

How will the phosphorescent emitter market look in 2018, following UDC's basic material patent expiration?

Aug 15, 2017

The phosphorescent OLED emitter market is currently dominated by Universal Display who owns the basic patents to phosphorescent OLED emitters. All the major OLED makers (including Samsung and LGD) are using UDC's materials in order to achieve higher display efficiencies, beyond what is available from fluorescent emitters.

Universal Display holds over 4,000 issued and pending patents, but some of its basic phosphorescent patents are set to expire by the end of 2017. Honestly, it is very difficult to know exactly what effect this will have on the market - some analysts believe that it will carry very little effect while others say that this will open the door for other companies to sell competing phosphorescent emitters.

Reports from Korea suggest LGD and SDC to invest 25 million Euro in Cynora

Aug 14, 2017

A report from the Korea Herald suggests that Samsung Display decided to invest €10 million in TADF developer Cynora, which follows LG Display's €15 million investment in the company. Both companies aim to secure access to next-generation emitter technology.

Cynora Blue TADF OLED material photo

The Korean report actually states €100 million from SDC and €150 million from LGD - but this is surely a mistake as it's highly unlikely that Cynora could be raising such a huge sum of money at this stage. An earlier report from ETNews claimed LGD's investment totaled $9 million.

Cynora edges closer to a 460nm deep-blue TADF emitter

Aug 01, 2017

In May 2017 Cynora announced a new blue TADF emitters that achieves a 15% EQE at 1000 nits with an emission peak of 470 nm and a LT97 of > 90 hours (at 700 nits) on a device level. Cynora has stated several times that it aims to commercialize its first highly efficient blue TADF emitter by the end of this year.

According to Cynora, the performance requested from customers is an EQE (at 1000) of over 15%, a lifetime (LT97 at 700 nits) of over 100 hours and a wavelength of 460 nm (color purity FWHM 60 nm).

Wisechip shows its latest PMOLEDs at the TADF Workshop in Japan

Jul 29, 2017

Wisechip, the Taiwan-based PMOLED maker, demonstrated its latest display panels and prototypes at the TADF Workshop last week in Fukuoka, Japan. This was an impressive display and a great chance to experience the latest PMOLEDs displays from Wisechip.

So first up we have the company's transparent PMOLED. This is a 4.1" (106x37.9 mm) segmented T-OLED specifically aimed for automotive HUD applications. The display has 4 colors (red, orange, green and blue) and offers a typical brightness of 800 nits (max is 1,500 nits). According to Wisechip the display will soon hit the market for a specific automotive partner.

Reports suggest LGD and SDC to participate in Cynora's latest financing round

Jul 26, 2017

ETNews reports that Cynora is finalizing its latest financing round, with aims to raise €15 million. LG Display will participate in the round, investing $9 million, and Samsung Display is also considering a similar sized investment.

Cynora Blue TADF OLED material photo

Cynora, based in Germany, is developing OLED emitters, and has recently announced its blue TADF OLED performance. Cynora's new blue achieves a 15% EQE at 1000 cd/m² with an emission peak at < 470 nm and a LT97 of > 90 hours (at 700 cd/m²) on a device level. Cynora says that it is very confident that it can commercialize its first highly efficient blue emitter by the end of this year, as planned.

Wisechip to commercialize Hyperfluorescence TADF PMOLEDs by year's end

Jul 25, 2017

Hyperfluoresence TADF materials developer Kyulux announced a collaboration with PMOLED maker WiseChip to bring Hyperfluoresence TADF emitter based displays to the market by year's end. Wisechip demonstrated an HF TADF display at the TADF Workshop last week in Fukuoka, Japan.

Wisechip Hyperfluoresence TADF emitters demonstration (TADF Workshop 2017)

The PMOLED display shown by Wisechip was a 0.96" monochrome yellow 128x64 one. The demonstration showed how much brighter (or more efficient) the Hyperfluoresence based display is compared to Wisechip's current fluoresent-based displays. The power saving is almost 50%.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters