This is the second post of the OLEDs series. Stay tuned.

  • Thinner and lighter - OLEDs are made out of organic layers , which allows OLED displays to be lighter and thinner than LCD or LED. The thin profile of OLEDs also leads to the flexibility of the displays. Thinner and lighter displays are preferable for mobile devices.
  • Brighter display with wider view angle- One of the important characteristics of OLEDs is that pixels generate light by themselves. By contrast, LCDs create images by filtering backlights to generate colors. Therefore, OLEDs produce brighter and clearer images comparing to LCDs. The emissive OLEDs also enable the wide view angle as much as 170 degrees.
  • Lower power consumption – OLED does not require backlighting which drains much power, therefore OLEDs are much more power efficient than LEDs. For example, OLED displays for mobile devices will lead to longer battery life. Currently, OLEDs are also being developed as the next generation of lighting source of high energy efficiency (see here for an earlier post).
  • Lifetime – One of the grand challenges for OLEDs is their limited lifetime because OLEDs are composed of organic materials that are extremely vulnerable to water vapor and oxygen. High performance encapsulation technology for OLEDs is much desirable to achieve a device life time comparable to that of LCD. Such a technology, however, is still far from mature.
  • Manufacturing Cost – The stringent requirement of the fabrication environment for OLEDs results in the expensive manufacturing process of OLEDs. So far, there is no practical way to mass produce OLEDs at low costs. This also imposes another grand challenge to the widespread use of OLED products.
Even with these significant challenges, OLEDs are still being actively developed for various potential applications, some of which will be covered in subsequent posts of this series. So hang on.

(via howstuffworks, OLED-Info, and Wikipedia; image credit: Universal Display)