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Demonstration of a flexible OLED device | A green emitting OLED device
An OLED (organic light-emitting diode) is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound which emits light in response to an electric current. This layer of organic semiconductor material is situated between two electrodes. Generally, at least one of these electrodes is transparent. OLEDs are used to create digital displays in devices such as television screens, computer monitors, portable systems such as mobile phones, handheld games consoles and PDAs.
There are two main families of OLEDs: those based on small molecules and those employing polymers. Adding mobile ions to an OLED creates a light-emitting electrochemical cell or LEC, which has a slightly different mode of operation. OLED displays can use either passive-matrix (PMOLED) or active-matrix addressing schemes. Active-matrix OLEDs (AMOLED) require a thin-film transistor backplane to switch each individual pixel on or off, but allow for higher resolution and larger display sizes.
An OLED display works without a backlight. Thus, it can display deep black levels and can be thinner and lighter than a liquid crystal display (LCD). In low ambient light conditions such as a dark room an OLED screen can achieve a higher contrast ratio than an LCD, whether the LCD uses cold cathode fluorescent lamps or LED backlight. Due to its low thermal conductivity, an OLED typically emits less light per area than an inorganic LED.
- 1 History
- 2 Working principle
- 3 Material technologies
- 4 Device architectures
- 5 Advantages
- 6 Disadvantages
- 7 Manufacturers and commercial uses
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The first observations of electroluminescence in organic materials were in the early 1950s by A. Bernanose and co-workers at the Nancy-Université, France. They applied high-voltage alternating current (AC) fields in air to materials such as acridine orange, either deposited on or dissolved in cellulose or cellophane thin films. The proposed mechanism was either direct excitation of the dye molecules or excitation of electrons.
In 1960, Martin Pope and co-workers at New York University developed ohmic dark-injecting electrode contacts to organic crystals. They further described the necessary energetic requirements (work functions) for hole and electron injecting electrode contacts. These contacts are the basis of charge injection in all modern OLED devices. Pope’s group also first observed direct current (DC) electroluminescence under vacuum on a pure single crystal of anthracene and on anthracene crystals doped with tetracene in 1963 using a small area silver electrode at 400 V. The proposed mechanism was field-accelerated electron excitation of molecular fluorescence.
Pope’s group reported in 1965 that in the absence of an external electric field, the electroluminescence in anthracene crystals is caused by the recombination of a thermalized electron and hole, and that the conducting level of anthracene is higher in energy than the exciton energy level. Also in 1965, W. Helfrich and W. G. Schneider of the National Research Council in Canada produced double injection recombination electroluminescence for the first time in an anthracene single crystal using hole and electron injecting electrodes, the forerunner of modern double injection devices. In the same year, Dow Chemical researchers patented a method of preparing electroluminescent cells using high voltage (500–1500 V) AC-driven (100–3000 Hz) electrically insulated one millimetre thin layers of a melted phosphor consisting of ground anthracene powder, tetracene, and graphite powder. Their proposed mechanism involved electronic excitation at the contacts between the graphite particles and the anthracene molecules.
Electroluminescence from polymer films was first observed by Roger Partridge at the National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom. The device consisted of a film of poly(n-vinylcarbazole) up to 2.2 micrometres thick located between two charge injecting electrodes. The results of the project were patented in 1975 and published in 1983.
The first diode device was reported at Eastman Kodak by Ching W. Tang and Steven Van Slyke in 1987. This device used a novel two-layer structure with separate hole transporting and electron transporting layers such that recombination and light emission occurred in the middle of the organic layer. This resulted in a reduction in operating voltage and improvements in efficiency and led to the current era of OLED research and device production.
Research into polymer electroluminescence culminated in 1990 with J. H. Burroughes et al. at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge reporting a high efficiency green light-emitting polymer based device using 100 nm thick films of poly(p-phenylene vinylene).
Schematic of a bilayer OLED: 1. Cathode (−), 2. Emissive Layer, 3. Emission of radiation, 4. Conductive Layer, 5. Anode (+)
A typical OLED is composed of a layer of organic materials situated between two electrodes, the anode and cathode, all deposited on a substrate. The organic molecules are electrically conductive as a result of delocalization of pi electrons caused by conjugation over all or part of the molecule. These materials have conductivity levels ranging from insulators to conductors, and therefore are considered organic semiconductors. The highest occupied and lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (HOMO and LUMO) of organic semiconductors are analogous to the valence and conduction bands of inorganic semiconductors.
Originally, the most basic polymer OLEDs consisted of a single organic layer. One example was the first light-emitting device synthesised by J. H. Burroughes et al., which involved a single layer of poly(p-phenylene vinylene). However multilayer OLEDs can be fabricated with two or more layers in order to improve device efficiency. As well as conductive properties, different materials may be chosen to aid charge injection at electrodes by providing a more gradual electronic profile, or block a charge from reaching the opposite electrode and being wasted. Many modern OLEDs incorporate a simple bilayer structure, consisting of a conductive layer and an emissive layer. More recent developments in OLED architecture improves quantum efficiency (up to 19%) by using a graded heterojunction. In the graded heterojunction architecture, the composition of hole and electron-transport materials varies continuously within the emissive layer with a dopant emitter. The graded heterojunction architecture combines the benefits of both conventional architectures by improving charge injection while simultaneously balancing charge transport within the emissive region.
During operation, a voltage is applied across the OLED such that the anode is positive with respect to the cathode. A current of electrons flows through the device from cathode to anode, as electrons are injected into the LUMO of the organic layer at the cathode and withdrawn from the HOMO at the anode. This latter process may also be described as the injection of electron holes into the HOMO. Electrostatic forces bring the electrons and the holes towards each other and they recombine forming an exciton, a bound state of the electron and hole. This happens closer to the emissive layer, because in organic semiconductors holes are generally more mobile than electrons. The decay of this excited state results in a relaxation of the energy levels of the electron, accompanied by emission of radiation whose frequency is in the visible region. The frequency of this radiation depends on the band gap of the material, in this case the difference in energy between the HOMO and LUMO.
As electrons and holes are fermions with half integer spin, an exciton may either be in a singlet state or a triplet state depending on how the spins of the electron and hole have been combined. Statistically three triplet excitons will be formed for each singlet exciton. Decay from triplet states (phosphorescence) is spin forbidden, increasing the timescale of the transition and limiting the internal efficiency of fluorescent devices. Phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes make use of spin–orbit interactions to facilitate intersystem crossing between singlet and triplet states, thus obtaining emission from both singlet and triplet states and improving the internal efficiency.
Indium tin oxide (ITO) is commonly used as the anode material. It is transparent to visible light and has a high work function which promotes injection of holes into the HOMO level of the organic layer. A typical conductive layer may consist of PEDOT:PSS as the HOMO level of this material generally lies between the workfunction of ITO and the HOMO of other commonly used polymers, reducing the energy barriers for hole injection. Metals such as barium and calcium are often used for the cathode as they have low work functions which promote injection of electrons into the LUMO of the organic layer. Such metals are reactive, so require a capping layer of aluminium to avoid degradation.
Single carrier devices are typically used to study the kinetics and charge transport mechanisms of an organic material and can be useful when trying to study energy transfer processes. As current through the device is composed of only one type of charge carrier, either electrons or holes, recombination does not occur and no light is emitted. For example, electron only devices can be obtained by replacing ITO with a lower work function metal which increases the energy barrier of hole injection. Similarly, hole only devices can be made by using a cathode comprised solely of aluminium, resulting in an energy barrier too large for efficient electron injection.
Efficient OLEDs using small molecules were first developed by Dr. Ching W. Tang et al. at Eastman Kodak. The term OLED traditionally refers specifically to this type of device, though the term SM-OLED is also in use.
Molecules commonly used in OLEDs include organometallic chelates (for example Alq3, used in the organic light-emitting device reported by Tang et al.), fluorescent and phosphorescent dyes and conjugated dendrimers. A number of materials are used for their charge transport properties, for example triphenylamine and derivatives are commonly used as materials for hole transport layers. Fluorescent dyes can be chosen to obtain light emission at different wavelengths, and compounds such as perylene, rubrene and quinacridone derivatives are often used. Alq3 has been used as a green emitter, electron transport material and as a host for yellow and red emitting dyes.
The production of small molecule devices and displays usually involves thermal evaporation in a vacuum. This makes the production process more expensive and of limited use for large-area devices than other processing techniques. However, contrary to polymer-based devices, the vacuum deposition process enables the formation of well controlled, homogeneous films, and the construction of very complex multi-layer structures. This high flexibility in layer design, enabling distinct charge transport and charge blocking layers to be formed, is the main reason for the high efficiencies of the small molecule OLEDs.
Coherent emission from a laser dye-doped tandem SM-OLED device, excited in the pulsed regime, has been demonstrated. The emission is nearly diffraction limited with a spectral width similar to that of broadband dye lasers.
Polymer light-emitting diodes
Polymer light-emitting diodes (PLED), also light-emitting polymers (LEP), involve an electroluminescent conductive polymer that emits light when connected to an external voltage. They are used as a thin film for full-spectrum colour displays. Polymer OLEDs are quite efficient and require a relatively small amount of power for the amount of light produced.
Vacuum deposition is not a suitable method for forming thin films of polymers. However, polymers can be processed in solution, and spin coating is a common method of depositing thin polymer films. This method is more suited to forming large-area films than thermal evaporation. No vacuum is required, and the emissive materials can also be applied on the substrate by a technique derived from commercial inkjet printing. However, as the application of subsequent layers tends to dissolve those already present, formation of multilayer structures is difficult with these methods. The metal cathode may still need to be deposited by thermal evaporation in vacuum. An alternative method to vacuum deposition is to deposit a Langmuir-Blodgett film.
Typical polymers used in PLED displays include derivatives of poly(p-phenylene vinylene) and polyfluorene. Substitution of side chains onto the polymer backbone may determine the colour of emitted light or the stability and solubility of the polymer for performance and ease of processing.
While unsubstituted poly(p-phenylene vinylene) (PPV) is typically insoluble, a number of PPVs and related poly(naphthalene vinylene)s (PNVs) that are soluble in organic solvents or water have been prepared via ring opening metathesis polymerization.
Ir(mppy)3, a phosphorescent dopant which emits green light.
Main article: Phosphorescent organic light-emitting diode
Phosphorescent organic light emitting diodes use the principle of electrophosphorescence to convert electrical energy in an OLED into light in a highly efficient manner, with the internal quantum efficiencies of such devices approaching 100%.
Typically, a polymer such as poly(n-vinylcarbazole) is used as a host material to which an organometallic complex is added as a dopant. Iridium complexes such as Ir(mppy)3 are currently the focus of research, although complexes based on other heavy metals such as platinum have also been used.
The heavy metal atom at the centre of these complexes exhibits strong spin-orbit coupling, facilitating intersystem crossing between singlet and triplet states. By using these phosphorescent materials, both singlet and triplet excitons will be able to decay radiatively, hence improving the internal quantum efficiency of the device compared to a standard PLED where only the singlet states will contribute to emission of light.
Applications of OLEDs in solid state lighting require the achievement of high brightness with good CIE coordinates (for white emission). The use of macromolecular species like polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS) in conjunction with the use of phosphorescent species such as Ir for printed OLEDs have exhibited brightnesses as high as 10,000 cd/m2.
- Bottom or top emission
- Bottom emission devices use a transparent or semi-transparent bottom electrode to get the light through a transparent substrate. Top emission devices use a transparent or semi-transparent top electrode emitting light directly. Top-emitting OLEDs are better suited for active-matrix applications as they can be more easily integrated with a non-transparent transistor backplane.
- Transparent OLEDs
- Transparent OLEDs use transparent or semi-transparent contacts on both sides of the device to create displays that can be made to be both top and bottom emitting (transparent). TOLEDs can greatly improve contrast, making it much easier to view displays in bright sunlight. This technology can be used in Head-up displays, smart windows or augmented reality applications.
- Graded Heterojunction
- Graded heterojunction OLEDs gradually decrease the ratio of electron holes to electron transporting chemicals. This results in almost double the quantum efficiency of existing OLEDs.
- Stacked OLEDs
- Stacked OLEDs use a pixel architecture that stacks the red, green, and blue subpixels on top of one another instead of next to one another, leading to substantial increase in gamut and color depth, and greatly reducing pixel gap. Currently, other display technologies have the RGB (and RGBW) pixels mapped next to each other decreasing potential resolution.
- Inverted OLED
- In contrast to a conventional OLED, in which the anode is placed on the substrate, an Inverted OLED uses a bottom cathode that can be connected to the drain end of an n-channel TFT especially for the low cost amorphous silicon TFT backplane useful in the manufacturing of AMOLED displays.
Patternable organic light-emitting devices use a light or heat activated electroactive layer. A latent material (PEDOT-TMA) is included in this layer that, upon activation, becomes highly efficient as a hole injection layer. Using this process, light-emitting devices with arbitrary patterns can be prepared.
Colour patterning can be accomplished by means of laser, such as radiation-induced sublimation transfer (RIST).
Organic vapour jet printing (OVJP) uses an inert carrier gas, such as argon or nitrogen, to transport evaporated organic molecules (as in Organic Vapor Phase Deposition). The gas is expelled through a micron sized nozzle or nozzle array close to the substrate as it is being translated. This allows printing arbitrary multilayer patterns without the use of solvents.
Conventional OLED displays are formed by vapor thermal evaporation (VTE) and are patterned by shadow-mask. A mechanical mask has openings allowing the vapor to pass only on the desired location.
For a high resolution display like a TV, a TFT backplane is necessary to drive the pixels correctly. Currently, Low Temperature Polycrystalline silicon LTPS-TFT is used for commercial AMOLED displays. LTPS-TFT has variation of the performance in a display, so various compensation circuits have been reported. Due to the size limitation of the excimer laser used for LTPS, the AMOLED size was limited. To cope with the hurdle related to the panel size, amorphous-silicon/microcrystalline-silicon backplanes have been reported with large display prototype demonstrations.
Further information: Comparison CRT, LCD, Plasma
Demonstration of a 4.1″ prototype flexible display from Sony
The different manufacturing process of OLEDs lends itself to several advantages over flat panel displays made with LCD technology.
- Lower cost in the future
- OLEDs can be printed onto any suitable substrate by an inkjet printer or even by screen printing, theoretically making them cheaper to produce than LCD or plasma displays. However, fabrication of the OLED substrate is more costly than that of a TFT LCD, until mass production methods lower cost through scalability. Roll-roll vapour-deposition methods for organic devices do allow mass production of thousands of devices per minute for minimal cost, although this technique also induces problems in that multi-layer devices can be challenging to make due to registration issues, lining up the different printed layers to the required degree of accuracy.
- Light weight & flexible plastic substrates
- OLED displays can be fabricated on flexible plastic substrates leading to the possibility of flexible organic light-emitting diodes being fabricated or other new applications such as roll-up displays embedded in fabrics or clothing. As the substrate used can be flexible such as PET, the displays may be produced inexpensively.
- Wider viewing angles & improved brightness
- OLEDs can enable a greater artificial contrast ratio (both dynamic range and static, measured in purely dark conditions) and viewing angle compared to LCDs because OLED pixels directly emit light. OLED pixel colours appear correct and unshifted, even as the viewing angle approaches 90° from normal.
- Better power efficiency
- LCDs filter the light emitted from a backlight, allowing a small fraction of light through so they cannot show true black, while an inactive OLED element does not produce light or consume power.
- Response time
- OLEDs can also have a faster response time than standard LCD screens. Whereas LCD displays are capable of between 2 and 16 ms response time offering a refresh rate of 60 to 480 Hz, an OLED can theoretically have less than 0.01 ms response time, enabling up to 100,000 Hz refresh rate.
This article’s Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article’s neutral point of view of the subject. Please integrate the section’s contents into the article as a whole, or rewrite the material. (November 2011)
LED display showing partial failure
An old OLED display showing wear
- Current costs
- OLED manufacture currently requires process steps that make it extremely expensive. Specifically, it requires the use of Low-Temperature Polysilicon backplanes; LTPS backplanes in turn require laser annealing from an amorphous silicon start, so this part of the manufacturing process for AMOLEDs starts with the process costs of standard LCD, and then adds an expensive, time-consuming process that cannot currently be used on large-area glass substrates.
- The biggest technical problem for OLEDs was the limited lifetime of the organic materials. In particular, blue OLEDs historically have had a lifetime of around 14,000 hours to half original brightness (five years at 8 hours a day) when used for flat-panel displays. This is lower than the typical lifetime of LCD, LED or PDP technology—each currently rated for about 25,000–40,000 hours to half brightness, depending on manufacturer and model. However, some manufacturers’ displays aim to increase the lifespan of OLED displays, pushing their expected life past that of LCD displays by improving light outcoupling, thus achieving the same brightness at a lower drive current. In 2007, experimental OLEDs were created which can sustain 400 cd/m2 of luminance for over 198,000 hours for green OLEDs and 62,000 hours for blue OLEDs.
- Color balance issues
- Additionally, as the OLED material used to produce blue light degrades significantly more rapidly than the materials that produce other colors, blue light output will decrease relative to the other colors of light. This variation in the differential color output will change the color balance of the display and is much more noticeable than a decrease in overall luminance. This can be partially avoided by adjusting colour balance but this may require advanced control circuits and interaction with the user, which is unacceptable for some users. In order to delay the problem, manufacturers bias the colour balance towards blue so that the display initially has an artificially blue tint, leading to complaints of artificial-looking, over-saturated colors. More commonly, though, manufacturers optimize the size of the R, G and B subpixels to reduce the current density through the subpixel in order to equalize lifetime at full luminance. For example, a blue subpixel may be 100% larger than the green subpixel. The red subpixel may be 10% smaller than the green.
- Efficiency of blue OLEDs
- Improvements to the efficiency and lifetime of blue OLEDs is vital to the success of OLEDs as replacements for LCD technology. Considerable research has been invested in developing blue OLEDs with high external quantum efficiency as well as a deeper blue color. External quantum efficiency values of 20% and 19% have been reported for red (625 nm) and green (530 nm) diodes, respectively. However, blue diodes (430 nm) have only been able to achieve maximum external quantum efficiencies in the range of 4% to 6%.
- Water damage
- Water can damage the organic materials of the displays. Therefore, improved sealing processes are important for practical manufacturing. Water damage may especially limit the longevity of more flexible displays.
- Outdoor performance
- As an emissive display technology, OLEDs rely completely upon converting electricity to light, unlike most LCDs which are to some extent reflective; e-ink leads the way in efficiency with ~ 33% ambient light reflectivity, enabling the display to be used without any internal light source. The metallic cathode in an OLED acts as a mirror, with reflectance approaching 80%, leading to poor readability in bright ambient light such as outdoors. However, with the proper application of a circular polarizer and anti-reflective coatings, the diffuse reflectance can be reduced to less than 0.1%. With 10,000 fc incident illumination (typical test condition for simulating outdoor illumination), that yields an approximate photopic contrast of 5:1.
- Power consumption
- While an OLED will consume around 40% of the power of an LCD displaying an image which is primarily black, for the majority of images it will consume 60–80% of the power of an LCD: however it can use over three times as much power to display an image with a white background such as a document or website. This can lead to reduced real-world battery life in mobile devices when white backgrounds are used.
Manufacturers and commercial uses
A 3.8 cm (1.5 in) OLED display from a Creative ZEN V media player
OLED technology is used in commercial applications such as displays for mobile phones and portable digital media players, car radios and digital cameras among others. Such portable applications favor the high light output of OLEDs for readability in sunlight and their low power drain. Portable displays are also used intermittently, so the lower lifespan of organic displays is less of an issue. Prototypes have been made of flexible and rollable displays which use OLEDs’ unique characteristics. Applications in flexible signs and lighting are also being developed. Philips Lighting have made OLED lighting samples under the brand name “Lumiblade” available online  and Novaled AG based in Dresden, Germany, introduced a line of OLED desk lamps called “Victory” in September, 2011.
OLEDs have been used in most Motorola and Samsung colour cell phones, as well as some HTC, LG and Sony Ericsson models. Nokia has also introduced some OLED products including the N85 and the N86 8MP, both of which feature an AMOLED display. OLED technology can also be found in digital media players such as the Creative ZEN V, the iriver clix, the Zune HD and the Sony Walkman X Series.
The Google and HTC Nexus One smartphone includes an AMOLED screen, as does HTC’s own Desire and Legend phones. However due to supply shortages of the Samsung-produced displays, certain HTC models will use Sony’s SLCD displays in the future, while the Google and Samsung Nexus S smartphone will use “Super Clear LCD” instead in some countries.
OLED displays were used in watches made by Fossil (JR-9465) and Diesel (DZ-8076).
DuPont stated in a press release in May 2010 that they can produce a 50-inch OLED TV in two minutes with a new printing technology. If this can be scaled up in terms of manufacturing, then the total cost of OLED TVs would be greatly reduced. Dupont also states that OLED TVs made with this less expensive technology can last up to 15 years if left on for a normal eight hour day.
The use of OLEDs may be subject to patents held by Eastman Kodak, DuPont, General Electric, Royal Philips Electronics, numerous universities and others. There are by now thousands of patents associated with OLEDs, both from larger corporations and smaller technology companies .
By 2004 Samsung, South Korea‘s largest conglomerate, was the world’s largest OLED manufacturer, producing 40% of the OLED displays made in the world, and as of 2010 has a 98% share of the global AMOLED market. The company is leading the world OLED industry, generating $100.2 million out of the total $475 million revenues in the global OLED market in 2006. As of 2006, it held more than 600 American patents and more than 2800 international patents, making it the largest owner of AMOLED technology patents.
Samsung SDI announced in 2005 the world’s largest OLED TV at the time, at 21 inches (53 cm). This OLED featured the highest resolution at the time, of 6.22 million pixels. In addition, the company adopted active matrix based technology for its low power consumption and high-resolution qualities. This was exceeded in January 2008, when Samsung showcased the world’s largest and thinnest OLED TV at the time, at 31 inches and 4.3 mm.
In May 2008, Samsung unveiled an ultra-thin 12.1 inch laptop OLED display concept, with a 1,280×768 resolution with infinite contrast ratio. According to Woo Jong Lee, Vice President of the Mobile Display Marketing Team at Samsung SDI, the company expected OLED displays to be used in notebook PCs as soon as 2010.
In October 2008, Samsung showcased the world’s thinnest OLED display, also the first to be “flappable” and bendable. It measures just 0.05 mm (thinner than paper), yet a Samsung staff member said that it is “technically possible to make the panel thinner”. To achieve this thickness, Samsung etched an OLED panel that uses a normal glass substrate. The drive circuit was formed by low-temperature polysilicon TFTs. Also, low-molecular organic EL materials were employed. The pixel count of the display is 480 × 272. The contrast ratio is 100,000:1, and the luminance is 200 cd/m². The colour reproduction range is 100% of the NTSC standard.
In the same month, Samsung unveiled what was then the world’s largest OLED Television at 40-inch with a Full HD resolution of 1920×1080 pixel. In the FPD International, Samsung stated that its 40-inch OLED Panel is the largest size currently possible. The panel has a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, a colour gamut of 107% NTSC, and a luminance of 200 cd/m² (peak luminance of 600 cd/m²).
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2010, Samsung demonstrated a laptop computer with a large, transparent OLED display featuring up to 40% transparency and an animated OLED display in a photo ID card.
Samsung’s latest AMOLED smartphones use their Super AMOLED trademark, with the Samsung Wave S8500 and Samsung i9000 Galaxy S being launched in June 2010. In January 2011 Samsung announced their Super AMOLED Plus displays, which offer several advances over the older Super AMOLED displays: real stripe matrix (50% more sub pixels), thinner form factor, brighter image and an 18% reduction in energy consumption.
At CES 2012, Samsung introduced the first 55″ TV screen that uses Super OLED technology.
Sony XEL-1 (side)
The Sony CLIÉ PEG-VZ90 was released in 2004, being the first PDA to feature an OLED screen. Other Sony products to feature OLED screens include the MZ-RH1 portable minidisc recorder, released in 2006 and the Walkman X Series.
At the 2007 Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Sony showcased 11-inch (28 cm, resolution 960×540) and 27-inch (68.5 cm, full HD resolution at 1920×1080) OLED TV models. Both claimed 1,000,000:1 contrast ratios and total thicknesses (including bezels) of 5 mm. In April 2007, Sony announced it would manufacture 1000 11-inch OLED TVs per month for market testing purposes. On October 1, 2007, Sony announced that the 11-inch model, now called the XEL-1, would be released commercially; the XEL-1 was first released in Japan in December 2007.
In May 2007, Sony publicly unveiled a video of a 2.5-inch flexible OLED screen which is only 0.3 millimeters thick. At the Display 2008 exhibition, Sony demonstrated a 0.2 mm thick 3.5 inch display with a resolution of 320×200 pixels and a 0.3 mm thick 11 inch display with 960×540 pixels resolution, one-tenth the thickness of the XEL-1.
In July 2008, a Japanese government body said it would fund a joint project of leading firms, which is to develop a key technology to produce large, energy-saving organic displays. The project involves one laboratory and 10 companies including Sony Corp. NEDO said the project was aimed at developing a core technology to mass-produce 40 inch or larger OLED displays in the late 2010s.
In October 2008, Sony published results of research it carried out with the Max Planck Institute over the possibility of mass-market bending displays, which could replace rigid LCDs and plasma screens. Eventually, bendable, transparent OLED screens could be stacked to produce 3D images with much greater contrast ratios and viewing angles than existing products.
Sony exhibited a 24.5″ prototype OLED 3D television during the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2010.
On February 17, 2011, Sony announced its 25″ OLED Professional Reference Monitor aimed at the Cinema and high end Drama Post Production market.
As of 2010, LG Electronics produced one model of OLED television, the 15 inch 15EL9500 and has announced a 31″ OLED 3D television for March 2011. On December 26, 2011, LG officially announced the “world’s largest 55″ OLED panel” then featured it at CES 2012.
Recom Group/Video Name Tag applications
On January 6, 2011, Los Angeles based technology company, Recom Group introduced the first small screen consumer application of the OLED at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This was a 2.8″ OLED display being used as a wearable Video Name Tag.. At the Consumer Electronics Show in 2012, Recom Group introduced the World’s first Video Mic Flag incorporating three 2.8″ OLED displays on a standard broadcasters mic flag. The Video Mic Flag allowed video content and advertising to be shown on a broadcasters standard mic flag.