BLUE OLED, is rapidly emerging as a competitor of WRGB OLED

In the premium TV market, the share of OLED TVs is steadily increasing, and the price gap with LCD is gradually decreasing. As a result, LCD TV (QD-LCD TV) companies using quantum dot technology are sluggish in the premium TV market.

OLED TV uses white OLED and OLED panel with color filter (hereafter referred to as WRGB OLED), which is mass-produced only by LG Display.

Samsung Display is known to actively develop blue OLED + QDCF (blue OLED), which is one of the technologies to compete with WRGB OLED in the premium TV market.

UBI Research predicted that Samsung Display would implement blue OLED + QDCF with top emission method and it would be more advantageous to implement 8K and BT 2020 than WRGB in its ‘2018 OLED Material Industry Report’ published on April 18.

<Expected stack structure for Blue OLED, 2stack (left), 3stack (right), 2018 AMOLED emitting materials Report, UBI Research>

8K and BT2020 are to be adopted for the premium TVs. Also, the development of blue materials is expected to be aggressively progressed according to Samsung Display’s development of blue OLED. The blue material currently used in OLED is a fluorescent material that is insufficient in the efficiency and lifetime than phosphorescent material used in red and green. Blue phosphorescent materials have been developed continuously but they have not been applied to mass production due to the scarcity of materials and technical barriers. Therefore, blue fluorescent materials are stacked two or more times to improve efficiency and lifetime for large area OLED, and blue OLED is expected to use more than 2 stack structure.


With this trend, the market for blue emitting materials is expected to continue to grow. In 2017, blue materials (host and dopant) formed market of US$ 70 million.  According to the 2018 AMOLED emitting material market track published by UBI Research, blue material is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 32% by 2022 and reach US $ 272 million sales.

<Blue material (host and dopant) market forecast, 2018 AMOLED emitting materials Market track>

Can BLUE OLED be used for OLED TV?

Samsung Display selected blue OLED + QDCF (blue OLED) as next generation display technology following LCD TV, and started the necessary development.

Blue OLED is a technology, in which blue light emitted from blue OLED passes through a quantum dot color filter to represent red and green colors (b). The WRGB OLED used in OLED TV is a method in which white light passes through a color filter and implements RGB colors (a).

The ‘2018 OLED Materials Industry Report’ published by UBI Research on April 18 describes whether blue OLED, which Samsung Display has started to develop, can become TV OLED panels. The expected development direction and performance (efficiency and lifetime) of blue OLED + QDCF are analyzed. In particular, current status and development trends (fluorescence, phosphorescence, TADF) of blue emitting material, which is the core material of blue OLED, are covered.

Since blue OLED of Samsung Display is top emission type, the aperture ratio is increased by about 70% compared to the bottom emission, which emits light in the TFT direction, so that 8K resolution and high brightness are realized better than the conventional WRGB OLED. In addition, it is expected to reach BT. 2020, the UHD color standard, which was established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2012, using QD material with high color reproduction rate as color filter.

In the future premium TV market, 8K and BT. 2020 are necessary conditions for display. WRGB OLED is also being actively developed to implement 8K and BT2020. Attention is focused on the impact of the development of blue OLED in the premium TV market led by WRGB OLED.

In addition, the report analyzes the market status and development trends of the related companies, including overall technology development directions and key issues for new materials such as soluble OLED materials and near IR materials.

QD-OLED TV, is it to be the next generation premium TV?

Samsung Electronics is currently occupying the premium TV market with QD-LCD TVs, which use ‘PL-QD (photoluminescence quantum dot) technology’. This technology has a mechanism in which the material stimulated by external light re-emits light.

The operating profit of the consumer electronics division (CE), which controls QD-LCD TVs, fell more than Korean won 1 trillion in last year and the operating profit ratio was only 3.6%.

On the other hand, LG Electronics’ HE business division achieved a record operating profit of Korean won 1,566.7 billion and an operating margin of 8.1% through OLED TV. Sony also turned its operating profit into a surplus by quickly taking over the premium TV market with OLED TV.

OLED TV has had a positive effect in driving corporate sales growth.

Samsung Electronics has been developing EL-QLED, with EL-QD (electroluminescence quantum dot) technology, to increase its market share in the premium TV market. However, efficacy, lifetime and mass production technology of quantum dot, which is the material of QLED, is not yet secured.

Recently, QD-OLED TV technology, which uses blue OLED as a light source and that implements red and green colors through a quantum dot color filter (QDCF), is attracting attention.

<Expected structure for QD-OLED, Source: Samsung Display Blog>

By using QDCF, it is possible to easily make desired colors by adjusting the size of the QD material and improve the color reproduction rate. This is because the color gamut is enlarged to BT2020, so it is close to natural color and it is possible to deliver vivid picture quality more clearly. In addition, QD-OLED TV has a top emission structure, which makes it easy to secure the aperture ratio, thereby improving resolution and screen uniformity.

However, in QD-OLED TV, there are various problems to be solved such as lifetime and efficiency of blue OLED, and technology of ink-jet printing process. Given that the industry is still in the early stages of reviewing the business possibility, QD-OLED TVs are expected to go into mass production after 2020.

Attention is focused on the QD-OLED TV’s entry into the premium TV market and its impact.