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Chapter 5:
Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Displays
Organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) are one of the most rapidly developing technologies in recent FPD history. Since the first appearance of OLEDs in the market as a monochromatic car stereo display in 1997, tremendous research from academia and industry has been performed to implement OLED-based display for low-cost, small to medium, FPD applications. According to the OLED display industry’s 2003 report of Stanford Resources and Strategies Unlimited, the worldwide OLED display market is expected to increase up to $2 billion (U.S.) by 2006. OLEDs have several advantages over other FPD technologies: their Lambertian self-emission property produces a wide viewing angle; their fast response time (below microseconds) is a benefit for moving images; their high luminous efficiency and low operation voltage guarantee low power consumption by the display; their lightweight, very thin structure and robustness against external impacts are desirable characteristics for portable display applications; their simple, low-temperature fabrication process is cost effective; and their thin-film conformability on plastic substrates renders them a promising candidate for flexible display applications. Furthermore, when OLEDs are driven by an AM driving scheme based on TFTs, they can be used in high-resolution, large-size FPD applications such as laptop computers and TV screens. Recently, many companies - Toshiba and Matsushita, Kodak and Sanyo, Sony, Samsung SDI, and Chi Mei Optoelectronics and IBM Japan have reported 15- to 24-in. active-matrix organic light-emitting display (AMOLED) prototypes with wide eXtended graphics array (WXGA) at 1200 x 768 resolution or eXtended graphics array (XGA) at 1024 x 768 resolution. The specifications of these prototypes are summarized in Table 5.1.
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