In the world of television technology, the choice between OLED and LED TVs has long been a subject of debate. Recent advancements in QLED and MiniLED display panels have added to the competition with their remarkable brightness. However, at present, OLED displays continue to hold their ground as the top choice.
This ongoing battle to produce the best TV has led OLED and LED manufacturers to explore new technologies. In a recent interview with Universal Display (UDC) Vice President Dr. Michael Hack, we uncovered insights into OLED displays and their future technological advancements. Our discussion ranged from UDC’s role in the growing foldable and rollable display market, where OLED’s natural flexibility shines, to exploring new technologies such as PHOLED, poised to significantly enhance the power efficiency of OLED displays.
But amid our conversation, a new and intriguing term emerged – “plasmonic PHOLED.” Dr. Hack described it as a “novel device” with the potential to double OLED efficiency and extend the lifespan of OLED displays by up to tenfold.
Decoding the Mechanism of Plasmonic PHOLED
While Dr. Hack couldn’t delve into the intricate details of plasmonic PHOLED, as it’s still in the research and development phase, we did learn some key aspects. Similar to PHOLED, plasmonic PHOLED employs phosphorescent red, green, and blue subpixels to create images on OLED displays.
However, Dr. Hack emphasized that UDC’s efforts to make plasmonic PHOLED work involved a fundamental overhaul of OLED device design. This not only enhances OLED display efficiency but also prolongs its lifespan, thanks to “new physics” that govern OLED degradation.
Following our conversation, further research into this novel OLED technology revealed that its advantages stem from improvements in how light is emitted within the OLED subpixel stack. While the specifics remain highly technical and not yet fully refined, Dr. Hack summarized that UDC’s alterations to OLED physics are responsible for the efficiency boost provided by plasmonic PHOLED technology.
Plasmonic PHOLED vs. MicroLED: The Battle of Display Technologies
While UDC spearheads OLED advancements with PHOLED and plasmonic PHOLED, competitors in LED display technology are pursuing their own innovations, with MicroLED taking the spotlight.
However, Dr. Hack appeared unfazed by the rise of MicroLED during our discussion. He highlighted two significant challenges facing MicroLED technology:
- Yield and Precision: MicroLEDs consist of numerous subpixels, often numbering in the millions. Achieving precise placement on a MicroLED display is a complex task, reducing manufacturing yield and increasing costs. This challenge is still actively being addressed, explaining the relatively high prices of MicroLED TVs, which can exceed $100,000.
- Efficiency: The smaller the LED size, the greater the drop in efficiency. Dr. Hack pointed out that currently, building a MicroLED display would consume considerably more power compared to an equivalent Micro OLED display. Micro OLED, known for its use in the Apple Vision Pro headset, differs from MicroLED in its application for TV displays.
Dr. Hack further emphasized that OLED technology itself is continually evolving. As MicroLED strives to overcome its obstacles, UDC and other OLED innovators will continue to enhance OLED displays. These observations align with Dr. Hack’s assertion that OLED will remain the leading display technology for at least the next decade. With the promise of plasmonic PHOLED, it appears poised to secure its dominance for years to come.