A CDE Definition
(Polymer OLED) See OLED.
(Organic Light Emitting Diode) A display technology that offers rich colors, high contrast, deep blacks, wide viewing angle, low power and fast response time for sports and action scenes. The "O" in OLED comes from the use of "organic" carbon emitting layers rather than silicon or gallium as with LEDs (see diagram below).
OLED shares similarities with LED/LCD TVs and earlier plasma sets. Like LCD screens, white OLED (WOLED) passes light through color filters, while RGB OLED resembles plasma screens that intrinsically generate red, green and blue colors. Because OLEDs use light-emitting films, the screens are ultra-thin. See WOLED.
OLEDs can be transparent, enabling them to function in heads-up displays and as window shades that react to sunlight. They are also used for lighting. OLED's color, speed, thinness, transparency and flexibility make it the display technology of the 21st century. See OLED lighting.
Passive and Active OLEDs
Passive matrix OLEDs appeared in cellphones and MP3 players in the 1990s, and active matrix OLEDs followed in 2003. Four years later, Sony introduced the first active matrix OLED TV (see image below). However, significant progress was made in the next five years, and LG and Samsung debuted 55" OLED TVs in 2012. See PHOLED, AMOLED, TOLED, OLED lighting and LED.
First OLED TV - Only 11 Inches
From 11 to 77 Inches
OLEDs Are Monolithic Devices
OLED screens consist of a series of carbon-based "organic" layers between electrical contacts (electrodes). Like LEDs, when electrons and holes combine in the organic layer, they emit photons. Unlike LCDs, which have separate layers, each OLED layer is deposited on the other, creating a monolithic unit. Commonly constructed on glass, OLEDs can also be fabricated on plastic and flexible films, such as the Flexible OLED (FOLED) from Universal Display Corporation.
OLED Cross Section (Not to Scale)
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