How OLEDs Work: The Applications and Advantages

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Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are photo-emissive panels used extensively to build ultra-thin digital displays. They are used in some of the best quality TVs, computers, and handheld digital devices, and are renowned for their incredibly low power consumption and their ability to produce ultra-high-definition visuals.

OLEDs are in direct competition with conventional liquid crystal displays (LCDs), but are now considered the new standard in image quality. However, this innovative material is being used in an ever-expanding range of areas, with some surprising markets finding application for OLED technology.

Innovative OLED Products

The self-emissive quality of OLED devices enables highly efficient and lightweight display architectures to be produced. Due to their extremely versatile nature, they have been implemented in a range of end-use applications, including:

  • Televisions and monitors
  • Smartphones and tablets
  • Wearable devices
  • Light panels
  • OLED materials from Avantama

The first commercially available OLED TVs showcased the innate flexibility of the technology with striking curved designs. These curved designs were brought in reportedly to improve the viewing experience, but in their inception came a definitive statement about what this next-generation technology could do.

Developing prototype OLED displays have already further advanced the innovative nature of the technology with the creation of ultra-high-definition TVs (UHDTVs) that can be safely rolled up when they’re not being used. Researchers and developers have emphasized the desire to integrate OLEDs into car windows and windscreens for unobtrusive displays that would reinvent vehicular interior design.

An equally important factor to consider is that the cost of manufacturing OLEDs is gradually reducing with the application of cheaper, safer, and more readily available specialty dispersions for application via traditional printing methods.

Comparing Viewing Angles of QD and OLED Devices

Viewing angle is an important parameter in the performance of any digital display. This parameter is measured outwards from a 0° axis (or a direct view) which is the optimum viewing position for liquid crystal displays (LCDs), quantum dot LCDs (QLED), and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) devices.

Moving from this axis is associated with a proportionate decrease in the optical performance of a display, which can include decreases in desaturated colors, washed-out black levels, and unusual optical properties.

Viewing QD and OLED devices off-axis may show up issues with performance that significantly affect the quality of the user experience and compromise the high picture quality that modern consumers have come to expect. This poses a significant problem for manufacturers as very few consumers can watch visual content at the 0° axis all the time.

Everyday factors such as the layout of rooms, the position of the TV in a room, and the number of viewers can substantially affect an individual’s perception of a device’s quality. For instance, at an off-axis viewing angle of 45°, the black level intensity on LCD devices can decrease by up to 65%.

Both QD and OLED devices are seen as improvements to existing display technologies in almost every aspect. Notably, these improvements do not extend to price. Both QD and OLED devices are capable of reproducing realistic colors across a wider color gamut (WCG) with enhanced black levels and peak brightnesses facilitating high dynamic range (HDR) content with 4K resolution capabilities. However, these next-generation optical properties are still adversely affected by viewing angle with noticeable reductions in picture quality at off-axis angles.

OLED devices have controlled the high-performance display market for years. Although QD displays have suddenly surpassed OLED concerning WCG capabilities, OLEDs still possess the highest possible contrast ratios and do not suffer a reduction in optical qualities at severe off-angles.

Even standard OLED devices exhibit little to no decreased luminance capacities at angles of up to 84°. Normal viewing angles of 45° also do not limit the technically infinite contrast ratios of OLED technology and boast a brightness reduction of as little as 24%. In real-world situations, this means OLED technology can produce outstanding performances.

OLED Devices from Avantama

Avantama is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance optical materials for LCD, QD, and OLED devices. Avantama provides unique nanoparticle formulations for solution processing of various thin-film architectures.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Avantama AG.

For more information on this source, please visit Avantama AG.

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