QD-OLED: The Final Word in Display Tech?

Avantama is one of the foremost manufacturers of quantum dot (QD) formulations based on cadmium-free chemistries. With a suite of development tools at our fingertips and an experienced team of analytical and process chemists, we have successfully derived new, thermally-stable QDs based on RoHS-compliant (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) Perovskites for a wide range of market sectors.

Our vested interest in QD technology is founded on a genuine belief in their superior performance qualities and widespread market applicability, but we have always aimed to take a balanced view where competing technologies come into play. Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), for instance, have often been positioned as the technology-to-beat for QD displays. Yet this debate has taken a turn in recent months, with Samsung Electronics announcing a significant investment into a potentially game-changing technology: QD-OLED hybrids.

What are QD-OLED Hybrids?

QD-OLED panels could be envisaged to use quantum dots for downconversion to red and green of blue light generated by OLED. Industry analysts expect that initial versions will comprise ink-jet printed layers of red-green QD color converters integrated into a thin film with an organic blue fluorescent backlight. The structure would contain a blue-emitting OLED stack, likely separated from the red and green QD color conversion layers by a series of buffers.

These buffer layers could protect thermally-sensitive QDs from degradation, particularly at high peak brightness, which could cause significant stability issues. Other concerns have been directed at the comparatively poor longevity of blue OLED panels to white-light producing LCD panels. However, it is worth bearing in mind that QD-OLEDs are firmly in a prototypical phase of development, and few details have been confirmed by Samsung at this time.

Are QD-OLEDs a Game-Changing Technology?

Whether QD-OLEDs will radically change the display sector or will enter the market as another technical novelty remains to be seen.

It is highly likely that Samsung QD-OLEDs will set a new benchmark for color production in the display sector, building on the existing successes of QD-enhanced LCDs. What is uncertain is how the OLED backlight will perform in terms of peak brightness. There is also a question mark over whether the QD color conversion and buffer layers will inhibit the black levels of the OLED panel.

At the very least, QD-OLEDs seem like a logical step in the research and development (R&D) cycle of large-scale display manufacturing.

Are QD-OLEDs the Final Word for Displays?

Display manufacturing is subject to constant innovation and technological progress. So, while QD-OLEDs may be the next great step forward for premium display panels, they are unlikely to be the last step.

At Avantama, we are keenly following ongoing research into direct-view QDs, which would allow for unprecedented picture quality in terms of color gamut, contrast levels, viewing angles, efficiency and more. Yet there are fundamental changes that need to be made in manufacturing and production for that to happen. Firstly, a fundamental shift away from LCDs and cadmium-based QDs is necessary, alongside a move towards more efficient alternatives. If you would like to learn more about how we could leverage our QDs to help your R&D efforts, simply contact a member of the Avantama team today. Or, browse some of the recent articles on our blog page where we discuss QD-OLEDs in more depth.