Next-Gen Display Tech: QD-OLED or QNED

Next-generation display technology typically refers to any platform that could succeed liquid crystal displays (LCDs) as the predominating system on the market. Many manufacturers have put their resources behind organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology, a lighter, thinner, and more efficient alternative to conventional LCDs. Others have attempted to refine flat-panel designs with advanced nanomaterials like quantum dots (QDs).

Several years of competition between these two distinct platforms have failed to yield a clear frontrunner in terms of market performance. As a result, it is not necessarily obvious what form the next generation of flat-panel technology will take – succeeding plasma and early LCDs. Is there a truly next-gen display system in the pipeline, and could it seriously contend with established systems?


The first proposed system of note is the hybrid QD-OLED, a pioneering new display platform spearheaded by Samsung Electronics – though other manufacturers are believed to be hard at work on similar systems that combine QDs and OLEDs.

Reports suggested that the first QD-OLEDs were set to launch as early as 2021, providing an excellent compromise between the crisp colors of QDs and black levels of OLEDs. The same report suggested that Samsung’s QD-OLED panels had reduced panel reflectivity to just 1%.

However, this was published before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the market. Subsequent reports have also suggested that Samsung Electronics R&D efforts in Korea are focusing on something even more revolutionary than QD-OLED: an emerging system known as QNED.


Quantum nano-emitting diode (QNED) display technology is an advanced platform based on blue nanorod light-emitting diodes. With a unique core-shell and three-dimensional nanostructure, nanorods integrated onto a backplane thin-film transistor could offer superior aspect-ratios and quantum efficiencies compared to any platform currently available.

Theoretically, QNED structures could achieve a greater functional density than all planar LEDs, including those intended for use in QD-OLED systems. QNED backplanes could have an emitting surface area of as much as 10x that of OLED panels, potentially overcoming the light intensity limitations of OLED technology.

QNED is similar to the likes of MicroLED, which has been marketed in extremely large panels (73”+) at tradeshows for some time. However, MicroLED is prohibitively expensive for most consumers and is yet to emerge in smaller formats.

One of the most interesting facets of QNED technology is that existing nanorods emit blue light and can be integrated onto the same thin film transistors used to form blue OLEDs.

It is hard to guess whether Samsung Electronics and others believe one system is better than the other, particularly as supply chain issues and material availability become increasingly concerning factors as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

QDs from Avantama

Avantama is one of the world leaders in cadmium-free QD synthesis and custom formulation of functional nanomaterials for the display sector. We are following the extensive research and development carried out by companies like Samsung Electronics keenly and are excited by the increased application of high-performance QDs in more efficient and powerful display technologies.

If you would like to discuss a proprietary synthesis for QD-OLED, QNED, or some other form of display research and manufacture, simply contact a member of the Avantama team today.