When it comes to display panels, everyone almost thinks of LCD and OLED. The former is a fairly popular technology and is widely used in various display devices. The latter is a new display technology that has only become popular in recent years, also known as the next-generation display technology. In addition, QLED and MicroLED are also regarded as next-generation display technologies.
So what is the difference between OLED, QLED and MicroLED, and who is the next-generation display technology?
OLED, also known as an organic light-emitting diode, refers to the phenomenon that organic semiconductor materials and light-emitting materials emit light through carrier injection and recombination under the drive of an electric field. Let’s talk about the advantages of OLED over traditional LCD.
First of all, one of the biggest advantages of OLED is self-illumination. Unlike non-luminous liquid crystals, which need to rely on backlighting, self-illuminating OLEDs can make the thickness of the TV very thin. LG even made the thickness of the OLED TV an astonishing 2.57 mm, and the thickest part is no more than 5 mm. Moreover, because OLED is self-luminous for pixels, it can realize the switch of each pixel, realize the partition backlight of pixel level, and theoretically realize infinite contrast.
It is precisely because of its self-luminous characteristics that OLED has a wider viewing angle and lower power consumption than LCD with a backlight module. At the same time, the color performance of OLED is much better than that of LCD, and it has a wider color gamut. OLED also has a very special feature, that is, it can be produced on different flexible substrate materials such as plastics and resins to achieve a soft screen. Curved-screen phones and foldable phones take advantage of this characteristic of OLED.
However, OLED also has a fatal flaw, that is, the organic materials used in OLEDs age faster than the inorganic materials used in LCDs, and OLEDs will leave afterimages when they display a static picture for a long time, which is OLED Unique burn-in phenomenon. Although there are already many technologies that can alleviate the phenomenon of screen burn-in, they still cannot be solved well.
QLED is also known as a quantum dot light-emitting diode. OLED has the advantages of QLED, such as self-illumination, low response speed, wide color gamut and so on. Of course, the advantages of QLED are incomparable to OLED, that is, QLED uses inorganic quantum dot materials, which have a longer lifespan than OLED organic materials, and there will be no screen burn-in.
However, due to the shortcomings of quantum dots in quantum dot light-emitting diodes that are easily affected by heat and moisture, the same manufacturing process as OLED cannot be used, and a new manufacturing process needs to be developed. QLED technology has just started for a short time, and there are constraints such as low reliability and efficiency, unstable component life, and difficulties in solution process development. Therefore, QLED still only exists in laboratories at present, and there is still a certain distance from commercial use.
At this time, someone will ask, hasn’t Samsung launched a QLED TV? In fact, the QLED TVs currently on the market are not QLEDs in the true sense but can be regarded as upgraded versions of LCD TVs. By adding a layer of quantum dot film in front of the backlight of the LCD TV, the TV has better picture quality and color performance than traditional LCD TVs.
Therefore, the QLED TVs currently on the market are photoluminescent and need to rely on backlighting; while the real QLED is electroluminescent, which can realize self-illumination of pixels.
To put it simply, Micro LED is similar to the LED light-emitting billboards we see on the road, except that Micro LED makes each small lamp bead to the micron level. Like OLED, MicroLED is self-illuminating at the pixel level. It miniaturizes the traditional inorganic LED array, and each LED pixel with a size of 10 microns can be independently addressed and lit.
MicroLEDs are brighter and more efficient than existing OLED technology but consume less power. But Micro LED has a big problem, that is, the manufacturing process is very difficult, the most difficult of which is “mass transfer technology”, in simple terms, how to transfer tens of millions of pixel point light sources to the substrate.
The high production difficulty and low yield lead to the high price of Micro LED. The current price of large-size Micro LED TVs is not affordable for most people.
Which is the next generation display technology?
So which is the next-generation display technology among OLED, QLED, and MicroLED? In terms of performance, the pixels are also self-illuminating and will not burn the screen, and the longer life of QLED and MicroLED is undoubtedly better than OLED. But if you consider the current development of various technologies, the situation is different.
QLED is still in the laboratory stage, and mass production is far away; MicroLED has a low yield rate and high cost. Compared with this, OLED has been able to achieve mass production. Although the price is generally much higher than that of LCD, it is also within an acceptable range.
Judging from the current stage, if OLED can further reduce the price, it may be expected to replace LCD as the next generation display technology. But in the long run, OLED is also a transitional technology, and QLED and MicroLED are the final forms. However, as far as the current situation is concerned, although LCD has begun to be replaced by OLED in the field of small screens such as mobile phones, it is still dominant in the field of TV.
For us consumers, in fact, we don’t need to worry too much about which display technology to use, because the cheap price and easy use matter most to us. Even if QLED and MicroLED can be commercialized, if the price does not go down, it still cannot shake the status of LCD.