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

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.

LG aims to adopt a blue TADF emitter in its 2018 OLED TV stack

Korean news site DDaily posted an interesting article that states that LG Display is looking to replace the fluorescent OLED emitter used in its OLED TVs with a blue TADF emitter.

LG OLEDC7 photo

Following the introduction into LG's OLED TV production process, LG hopes to also use TADF materials in its small and medium OLED production. The report is a bit confusing, but it seems that LGD also aims to use its WOLED display in small and medium display formats - even for VR applications.

Idemitsu Kosan and BOE Display sign a strategic alliance to develop OLED materials and displays

Idemitsu Kosan and BOE Display agreed to form a strategic alliance with an aim to develop high-performance OLED materials and displays. Specifically, Idemitsu intends to develop and supply OLED materials in accordance with BOE's needs, as BOE is starting to mass producing OLED displays in several fabs in across China.

Flexible AMOLED prototype (BOE, Chengdu fab)

Idemitsu Kosan is in the process of expanding its OLED material production at its Korean subsidiary Idemitsu Electronic Materials Korea, and the company also recently established a new OLED materials development company in Switzerland. Idemitsu is supplying its OLED materials to both LG Display and Samsung Display and is apparently enjoying an increased demand and is looking to start selling its materials to BOE DIsplay as well. We recently posted aninterview with Idemitsu's electronics materials chief.

pn-OLED structure may enable efficient and cost-effective fluorescent OLED devices

Researchers from South China University of Technology developed a new OLED structure that promises to enable low-cost efficient fluorescent OLED devices. The so-called pn-OLED structure is inspired by p-n junction theory and inorganic LED design.

pn-OLED structure image

The pn-OLED uses a highly-efficient emission-layer-free OLED, in which the p-type and n-type organic semiconductors are sandwiched vertically between an ITO anode and a lithium fluoride/aluminum cathode. The luminescent center of the pn-OLED is located in the p–n junction region. The light-emission behavior of this device is a result of the synergetic energy release from both the p-type and n-type materials. This is in contrast to conventional OLEDs, where the light generation occurs from single-molecule emitters.

An interview with Idemitsu Kosan's electronic material's chief

Hajime Nakamoto (Idemitsu Kosan)Idemitsu Kosan is a large multinational Chemical company based in Japan that is supplying OLED materials for OLED producers. Idemitsu has OLED business units in Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China and is collaborating with UDC, LGD, AU Optronics, Doosan and others.

Hajime Nakamoto, the head of the Electronic Materials Department at Idemitsu was kind enough to answer a few questions we had. Mr. Nakamoto joined Idemitsu in 1984 and has been involved with OLEDs since 2007.

Q: Hajime, Thank you for your time. Idemitsu has been one of the leaders in OLED materials for a very long time. Can you tell us what kind of materials you currently offer for OLED panel makers?

Idemitsu offers almost all kinds of OLED materials to OLED panel makers. Idemitsu is particularly well-known for its fluorescent blue host and dopant materials and transport materials, which offer advantages to OLED panel makers.

The EU launches a new project to commercialize TADF OLED emitters

Phebe project logoThe European Commission, under its Horizon 2020 programme, launched a new project called Phebe that aims to develop and commercialize TADF OLED emitters. This three-year project's consortium includes Novaled, Astron-FIAMM, TU Dresden, Kaunas University of Technology, Durham University and other companies and universities.

TU Dresden is focusing on material design using theoretical quantum chemical approaches, and KTU is elaborating synthetic schemes for exciplex emitters and intramolecular charge transfer materials and synthesizing the most promising compounds. Durham will perform photophysical characterisation of the new materials from Kaunus and will also be in charge of elucidating the mechanisms of TADF to feed into the theoretical work of TU Dresden. Novaled will provide best-fit transport and doping material sets, technology and expert know-how on stack architecture.

Ason devloped a 50,000 cd/m2 OLED panel, plans to start mass production in 2016

Japan-based Ason Technology unveiled their first OLED lighting panel in 2013, and last year we featured an article discussing the company's technology and business. In a recent interview to Sangyo-Times, the company's CEO reveals some interesting updates.

Ason spent almost eight years to develop a new multi-stack structure that can be used to create OLED with many layers, which results in long-lasting high-brightness panels. The company now reports that it developed an OLED with twelve (!) emitting layers, which enables it to reach a high brightness of 50,000 cd/m2.

LG Display more than double their flexible OLED production capacity

During an investor conference call, Universal Display revealed some new details on LG Display's flexible OLED program. According to UDC, LGD's current production capacity in its 4.5-Gen fab is 14,000 monthly substrates, more than double its capacity (6,000 substrates/month) that was reported in the middle of 2014.

LGD indeed said they expect to double their capacity towards the end of 2014, and that's great news. Some of that capacity will go to LG's own flexible products (such as the G Flex 2 and the G Watch R) - and reportedly also to support Apple's Watch which will launch in April.

Winstar details their PMOLED, flexible OLEDs and OLED lighting developments

Update: the video was removed from YouTube and is no longer available

Winstar, a leading PMOLED producer from Taiwan, hosted a seminar in June 2014, and they gave two OLED lectures - describing their OLED products in the present and the future development expected from Winstar.

There's some interesting details in there. First of all, while Winstar is currently producing glass-based PMOLEDs, the company is also developing flexible PMOLED panels. One of the major challenges is encapsulation and Winstar is using ALD technology for this at the moment, developed in collaboration with ITRI.

Samsung's new 5.1" QHD AMOLED is more efficient than the 5.1" FHD, was a new emitter adopted?

A couple of months ago, Samsung release the Galaxy S5 LTE-A, that sports the company's latest AMOLED panel - a 5.1" QHD (2560x1440) Super AMOLED. Anandtech posted a long review of this new phone, and they find that the display is actually a little bit more efficient than the 5.1" FHD panel used in the GS5, even though it sports a higher resolution (which usually means a less efficient display as the aperture ratio gets smaller.

Anandtech further says that Samsung told them they switched to a new, improved emitter material for the new QHD panel, which explains the increased efficiency. This is interesting as the QHD display was released only a few months after Samsung started producing the FHD panel, which by itself was 27% more efficient than the previous generation panels - also due to more efficient OLED materials.