What is the future change of WRGB OLED to respond to QD-OLED?


2As Samsung Display’s QD-OLED begins to be applied to TVs and monitors in earnest in 2022, technological changes are being detected for LG Display’s WRGB OLED, which has been leading the large OLED market.

LG Display’s WRGB OLED has produced a WBC structure consisting of two blue layers and one red+yellow green layer in Paju by the end of 2021, and a WBE structure consisting of two blue layers and one red+green+yellow green layer in Guangzhou. Deuterium substitution technology was applied to the blue of the WBE structure.

Since 2022, LG Display has stopped producing WBC panels from its Paju line and has been producing ‘OLED.EX’ panels with deuterium substitution technology applied additionally to green of WBE produced in Guangzhou.

<Photo of OLED.EX presented by LG Display at the 2022 OLED Korea Conference>

At SID 2022, LG Display also exhibited a large OLED panel with micro lens array technology. Micro lens array technology was applied to Samsung Electronics’ ‘Galaxy S Ultra’ series, and it is the first technology applied to large OLEDs. LG Display is known to expect a 20% improvement in luminance compared to the previous one by applying micro lens array technology. Panels which micro lens array technology is applied are expected to be produced in Paju from the second half of this year.

Lastly, it is known that LG Display is developing a structure in which yellow green is removed from WRGB OLED. By eliminating yellow green, material and processing costs can be saved, and color gamut is expected to be improved.

Attention is paid to how LG Display’s WRGB OLED will evolve to compete against QD-OLED.

<OLED panel with micro lens array technology exhibited by LG Display at SID 2022>

Samsung Display’s QD-OLED Applied to Sony’s TV and DELL’s Monitor

QD-OLED panels, which are being mass-produced from the second half of 2021 at Samsung Display, will be applied to new products for Sony and DELL.

First, Sony announced A95K, the first TV with QD-OLED in its 2022 TV lineup. A95K is available in 55-inch and 65-inch models, featuring 4K resolution and a refresh rate of 120 Hz.

    <Sony’s QD-OLED TV ‘A95K’, Source:>

Meanwhile, Samsung Display’s QD-OLED is also applied to DELL’s 34-inch gaming monitor. DELL’s ‘Alienware AW3423DW’ monitor has a 34-inch size, 3440 x 1440 resolution, a refresh rate of 175 Hz, and a response speed of 0.1 ms. In addition, the monitor supports ‘DisplayHDR 400 True Black’. DELL said it will start selling around March 2022.

As Samsung Display’s QD-OLED enters the TV and IT markets, it is expected to compete fiercely with LG Display’s WRGB OLED and JOLED’s RGB inkjet printing technology in the existing mid-to-large market. Many have a huge interest as to which company’s technology will become the main technology in the mid- to large-sized market in the future.

How much will be the investment cost for 8Generation QD-OLED TV?

In the “2018 OLED Equipment Report” recently published by UBI Research, the required investment cost was analyzed for the QD-OLED that Samsung Display started to develop.

QD-OLED, which is being developed by Samsung Display, is a method of displaying three colors of RGB by separating green and red from the light emitted from blue OLED through QD (quantum dot) material. The light passing through the QD material once again passes through the color filter and displays a richer color.

QD-OLED is similar to the manufacturing method of WDRGB OLED produced by LG Display. First, both companies use oxide TFTs. At WRGB OLED, blue is applied twice and red and green are deposited between them. In contrast, QD-OLED is fabricated by depositing only blue material twice. Both methods use the open mask with an empty center.

For both QD-OLED and WRGB OLED, the color filter manufacturing cost is assumed to be same; however, QD-OLED should be equipped with additional equipment to coat QD materials.

According to the report, it is expected that the investment cost is to be equal because the similar equipment can be used for module, cell, encapsulation and evaporator. Since WRGB OLED is bottom emission type, it is formed together when backplane is formed including TFT. However, QD-OLED adopts top emission method. A color filter is separately formed on the top glass substrate and the QD layer is patterned thereon. Therefore, QD-OLED requires higher investment cost than WRGB OLED.

The report describes that based on 8Generation 26K, the investment cost for QD-OLED is estimated to be US$ 1.1 billion, which is 1.03 times higher than WRGB OLED (US$ 1.07 billion). In contrast, the required investment cost to manufacture OLED by inkjet method, which JOLED is promoting commercialization, is projected as US$ 0.88 billion, which is to be about 80% of QD-OLED.

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.

Solution Process OLED, Max. 40% Decrease in Component Material Cost Possible Compared to WRGB

According to 2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report published by UBI Research, when solution process (ink-jet printing) is applied to large area OLED, it could reduce up to 40% of component material cost, and approximately more than 18% of production cost compared to WRGB process that uses evaporation method.


Solution process is a technology that can manufacture RGB pixel structure of large size OLED panel without cutting mother glass using Gen8 manufacturing equipment or larger.


UBI Research analyst Hyunjun Jang explained that the solution process applied OLED has a simpler panel structure with 5 layers compared to 20 layers of WRGB OLED. WRGB OLED process material usage efficiency is only at 40% but solution process application could increase this to over 90%. Jang added that the lack of color filter is a factor that could decrease panel production price by reducing development cost. Particularly, this can greatly reduce emitting materials usage which occupies much of materials cost and contribute considerably to the fall in production cost. Furthermore, he added that cost setting of soluble emitting material per gram will be an important factor in production cost decrease and emphasized that organic material usage greatly decreases when soluble emitting materials are used but must consider price increase due to solvent cost, production cost, and development cost.


Solution process technology continues to receive attention as a key technology that can lead popularization of large area OLED, and key AMOLED panel companies are carrying out development.


In terms of technology, solution process OLED has lower emitting efficiency and short lifetime as diverse solvent is added to existing evaporation materials to transform into ink leading to low purity. This has been an important issue for panel and material companies for past several years. To improve this, DuPont, Merck, Sumitomo Chemical and others have been actively developing soluble OLED emitting materials. Much like evaporation materials, blue materials showed particular difficulty in performance improvement. However, at present significant portion of technology development has been carried out and investigation shows approximately 80% of lifetime and efficacy of has been achieved compared to evaporation materials.


2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report compared and analysed WRGB OLED and solution process OLED’s competitiveness in terms of process, materials, and cost. Key issues, soluble OLED emitting materials development status, key companies’ trend, and solution process OLED market are analysed from various perspectives.

<Source: WRGB OLED and solution process OLED production cost comparison, UBI Research 2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report>