Article last updated on: Feb 10, 2019

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.

The latest TADF news:

The 2019 International TADF Workshop marks the 10 years since TADF discovery

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 was discovered 10 years ago, and the 4th International TADF Workshop will mark the event.

Blue TADF emitter molecules

The TADF Workshop will cover a diverse range of topics in TADF, excitonic materials, physics and devices - including a special focus on device architectures, up-conversion mechanisms, radical (doublet) emitters and perovskite emitters.

Kyulux's CEO shares company updates at OLED Korea 2019

In June 2018 Kyulux and Wisechip unveiled a PMOLED display that uses Kyulux’s Hyperfluorescence yellow emitter. Kyulux updated today that Wisechip is now ready to start producing the HF panel and is seeking customers.

Wisechip eventually settled on a large panel - 73.00 x 41.86 mm (2.7") with a resolution of 128x64. Wisechip says that the power consumption of its HF display is almost half of its regular fluorescent yellow PMOLED.

Things we learned at the first day of OLED Korea 2019

The first day of the OLED Korea 2019 conference is almost over - with some interesting lectures and talks by leading OLED companies and professionals. Here are some of the things under discussion today (highlights only):

LGD's future plans for OLED TVs at OLED Korea 2019 photo

  • Some believe there will be a real market for >$2,000 foldable OLED devices, and some call for cost reductions before real adoption could take place
  • LG Display is optimistic regarding the future of OLED TVs
  • Samsung will not commit yet to its QD-OLED technology
  • Both Cynora and Kyulux are rapidly progressing towards a long lasting TADF/HF blue - but it seems there's still work to be done
  • Idemitsu Kosan is increasing its fluorescent OLED emitter efficiency
  • Universal Display's RGBB architecture is back on the table - and the company now highlights the architecture's low blue light emission. UDC seems more optimistic then ever regarding blue PHOLED commercialization
  • Equipment maker's focus is shifting to China as Korean OLED makers will not increase capacity in the near future

The NSF awards Molecular Glasses with $225,000 to develop non-crystallizable TADF host materials

US-based OLED material developer Molecular Glasses received a $225,000 SBIR Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation to develop non-crystallizable charge transporting organic materials as OLED functional layers and thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) emitter-layer hosts.

Molecular Glasses OLEDIQ advantages chartThe NSF explains currently used OLED host molecules tend to crystallize and are poor solvents for the emitting molecules leading to decreased light emission efficiency and shortened device lifetime. Molecular Glasses' innovation uses isomeric mixtures of designed molecules that are amorphous and non-crystallizable in all three layers.

Researchers develop 100% IQE radical-based OLED emission

Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Jilin University discovered that radical-based OLEDs feature highly efficient emission - in fact they believe that this discovery could be an elegant solution to the problem of in-efficient OLED emission.

First-generation OLED emitters (fluorescent emitters) have a maximum internal quantum efficiency of 25% - as only a quarter of the electrons are in a singlet-state (that emit light) while 75% of the electrons are in a triplet-state. Current ways to achieve 100% IQE are either based on doping with heavy metals (phosphorescent emission) or either based on delayed fluorescence (TADF).

Cynora extends its cooperation with LGD for deep-blue TADF emitters, samples green TADF emitters

TADF developer CYNORA has announced that it has extended its joint-development agreement with LG Display. The two companies have been co-developing deep-blue TADF OLED emitters for two years, and have now decided to continue the cooperation towards the commercialization of TADF emitters in OLED displays.

Cynora TADF OLED blue emitter in the lab (photo)

CYNORA's latest deep-blue material specification was 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 mass production by 2020. Cynora says that its TADF materials are suitable for both self-emitting or co-emitting approaches (which includes hyper-fluorescence).

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.

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 was 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 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 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.

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.

The 4th International TADF Workshop 2019The 4th International TADF Workshop 2019