IAS Newsletter – Sep 2014 - page 4-5

Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) is an electronic device that, by using organic
semiconductors as the emitter, can efficiently produce visible light of practically
any color. Because of its many desirable characteristics, including ultra-fast on/off
switching time, low drive voltage, and wide-view angle, OLED has emerged as a key
technology ideally suited for display applications. OLED is an invention by Prof
Ching W. Tang. Born in Hong Kong, Prof Tang is the first Chinese recipient of the
prestigious Wolf Prize in Chemistry. In 2013, Prof Tang joined HKUST Jockey Club
Institute for Advanced Study as the first IAS Bank of East Asia Professor.
Going “organic”, your invention of OLED has brought about notable
breakthrough in display technology. How soon will OLED become
affordable? How does OLED better our lives?
I think OLED is affordable now. OLED has already found a major
application – display screens for cellphones and tablets. Many of today’s
smart phones use OLED screens because they look better compared to
conventional LCD screens. They also consume less power. As a
relatively new entry to the display market, OLED screens may cost a
little more than comparable LCD screens, but the performance/price is
very much in favor of the OLED screens. Another major application for
OLED is high-definition television. Large companies like Samsung and
LG have been promoting OLED as the ultimate display technology for
HDTVs for some time. When OLED HDTVs were first introduced in
October 2013, unfortunately they were very expensive, costing as much
as US$10,000 for a 55” set. Since then the price has dropped
dramatically – by almost 2/3. My guess is that it may take a few years
for OLED HDTVs to reach price parity with LCD HDTVs. More
manufacturers are gearing up OLED HDTV production, particularly in
China, which will accelerate the price reduction. LCD has dominated the
display market for many years, but it still has some serious performance
limitations. For instance, it is nearly impossible for an LCD screen to
produce a perfect black because it is fundamentally an imperfect light
shutter. As a light emitter, OLED operates very differently. It can be
completely turned off to produce a perfect black or instantly switched
on to produce high brightness. Combined with its inherently saturated
colors, OLED delivers a display screen with incredibly high dynamic
contrast and color fidelity. Another important advantage is that OLED
screens can be easily made flexible. This will enable new applications,
like wearable displays. I have no doubt that OLED is the display
technology for the future. It will be everywhere.
A Chat with the Father of OLED,
Prof Ching W. Tang
IAS Chatroom
IAS Chatroom
Sep 2014
Sep 2014
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