Article last updated on: Dec 15, 2017

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

Cynora to present its latest blue TADF emitter at the OLEDs World Summit conference

TADF developer CYNORA announced that it will present its latest deep-blue TADF emitter material at the OLEDs World Summit which starts today in San Francisco.

Cynora TADF material in lab (photo)

CYNORA's latest material specification were presented in May 2018 - with a CIEy of 0.14, EQE of 20% and a lifetime of 20 hours LT97 at 700 nits. Cynora expects to have blue material in the mass production by 2020, and when its deep-blue material is ready it will start to develop the less challenging highly efficient green and red materials. Last month we have interviewed Cynora's CMO Dr. Andreas Haldi - who talked about TADF, lifetime, color points and more.

Kyulux signs JDA agreements with both SDC and LGD - aims to have commercial ready TADF/HF emitters ready by mid 2019

Kyulux announced that it has signed joint-development agreements (JDAs) with both LG Display and Samsung Display. The LGD agreement was signed in January 2018 while the SDC one was recently signed. Both agreements focus on deep blue Hyperfluoresence / TADF emitters.

Kyulux HF/TADF lab photo

Kyulux hopes that by collaborating with the two leading OLED producers, it will be able to accelerate its material development - and it aims to have commercial red, green and blue HF/TADF emitters ready by mid 2019.

OLED Microdisplays Market Report

An interview with Cynora's CMO Dr. Andreas Haldi - talking about TADF, lifetime, color points and more

German TADF developer Cynora presented its latest blue TADF material in May 2018 - with a CIEy of 0.14, EQE of 20% and a lifetime of 20 hours LT97 at 700 nits. Cynora expects to have blue material in the mass production by 2020.

Dr. Andreas Haldi - Chief Marketing Officer Cynora

Cynora's Chief Marketing Offer, Dr. Andreas Haldi was kind enough to answer a few questions we had regarding TADF emitters, the differences between next-generation emitter technologies, lifetime, color points and more.

Kyulux dramatically improves the performance of its blue HF emitter

Kyulux announced that it has developed a new blue Hyperfluoresence/TADF OLED emitter. Kyulux managed to extend the lifetime of the material and reached 100 hours at LT95 (@ 750 cd/m2) while maintaining a high EQE of 26% - 22% at 1,000 cd/m2. The emission wavelength is 470 nm.

Kyulux says that its blue Hyperfluorescence emitter is the world’s top performing material at the moment. Kyulux now aims to work together with OLED panel makers to improve the systems further by optimizing the device structure and the rest of the OLED stack in pilot production lines.

Wisechip and Kyulux to bring a flexible TADF/HF PMOLED to the market by the end of 2018

Kyulux and Wisechip unveiled a flexible PMOLED display that uses Kyulux’s Hyperfluoresence yellow emitter. Wisechip says that the power consumption of this display is almost half of Wisechip's regular fluorescent yellow PMOLED.

Wisechip 1.71'' flexible TADF/HF PMOLED (SID 2018)

The first flexible HF PMOLED is a 1.71″ 256x64 display, that is now ready to be produced (Wisechip says this will enter mass production before the end of 2018). Wisechip originally aimed to introduce its first glass-based HF yellow emitter PMOLED by the end of 2017, but it seems they decided to jump straight to a flexible panel.

Researchers increase OLED efficiency by over 15% by using ultra-stable film formation

Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and TU-Dresden have demonstrated that ultra-stable film formation can be used to to improve the performance of OLED devices.

Ultra-stable film formation to improve OLEDs

The researchers grew (using evaporation) the organic materials as ultrastable glasses - a growth condition that allows for thermodynamically most stable amorphous solids. Testing four different phosphorescent emitters, the researchers show significant (over 15%) increases of efficiency and operational stability. The researchers also say that these growing conditions are expected to even be more useful for TADF materials.

Visionox unveil a blue TASF OLED prototype display

Thermal activation sensitized fluorescence, or TASF, is a new type of TADF OLED emitter material developed at China's Tsinghua University. During SID Displayweek, Visionox demonstrated the first TASF prototype display.

We do not have a lot of information on this new emitter technology, except what Visionox provided at the conference: a sky-blue color (468 nm, CIE: 0.153, 0.201), a luminous efficiency of 26.6 cd/A and an external quantum efficiency of over 17%. The brightness of this OLED PMOLED display was 800 nits.

CYNORA presents high-performance blue TADF emitters at the SID Display Week 2018

The following is a sponsored post by Cynora

CYNORA, a leader in TADF (thermally activated delayed fluorescence) materials for OLEDs, presents its newest high-performing blue emitting materials at the SID Display Week 2018 in Los Angeles. The company is currently working with the key display makers to finish the commercialization of the industry’s first blue high-efficiency emitter.

Cynora Blue TADF OLED material photo

OLED displays have become standard for premium mobile and TV displays in the last couple of years. However, those OLED displays have not yet reached their fullest potential. High-efficiency blue OLED emitters are needed to reduce power consumption and increase the display resolution further. Despite urgent requests by the OLED display panel makers for a high-efficiency blue emitter in the last few years, no material supplier has yet been able to produce such an emitter.

NTHU researchers developed a di-boron TADF emitter that maintains its efficiency at high brightness

Researchers from Taiwan's National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) developed a new TADF OLED emitter material that maintains its high efficiency at high luminance. The researchers say that this new material is the world's most efficient TADF emitter at high brightness.

Prof. Zheng Jianhong, diboron OLED TADF developer, NTHU

The new material is made from two diboron-based molecules, CzDBA and tBuCzDBA. These donor–acceptor–donor (D–A–D) type and rod-like compounds concurrently generate TADF with a photoluminescence quantum yield of ~100% and an 84% horizontal dipole ratio in the thin film. The researchers synthesized a green TADF emitter that achieved a a high external quantum efficiency of about 37.8% with an efficiency roll-off of only 0.3% at 1,000 cd/m2.

DSCC: the OLED material market will reach $2.56 billion in 2022

Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) says that OLED material revenues grew 43% to reach $869 million in 2017. DSCC expects the OLED material market to grow at a 24% CAGR until 2022, when the market will reach $2.56 billion.

OLED material revenue by type (2016-2022, DSCC)

The small/medium display market accounts to about 59% of the total OLED material market, and this will continue until 2022. For the TV market, DSCC expects ink-jet printing to enable producers to make lower the material costs of OLED TV production, and OLED TV materials will grow at a rate of 23%, from $344 in 2017 to $963 million in 2022.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters