Advantages and drawbacks
There are advantages as well as drawbacks of OLED displays and technology. First we will discuss the advantages and later on the possible drawbacks.
LCD technology engages a backlight, whereas OLED has no backlighting function. Hence an LCD is not possible to display true black, OLED has a so called off element which produces no light and consumes no power. In general, organic LED technology consumes less power. This is especially useful for devices that are supplied by battery power. As there is no backlighting they can have a thinner form and a more light weighted character.
The manufacturing process of OLEDs is different to those of LCD technology. OLEDs can be printed onto almost any substrate with inkjet printer technology. That is why new applications like displays embedded in clothes or roll-up displays are possible.
Because of the different manufacturing process it is possible to produce OLED displays at a lower cost in comparison to liquid crystal displays (LCDs) or plasma displays.
OLED technology allows an increased brightness and a higher contrast. A wide range of pixel sizes as well as a wide viewing angle are one of the benefits. The viewing angle can be up to 160 degrees. The response time for full motion-video is faster and greyscale is more excellent. Other benefits are low power consumption and low operating voltages between 2 and 10 volts usually. Displays powered by OLED are allowing a broader operating temperature range than traditional displays.
LCD technology is wasting power because the liquid crystal acts as a polarizer which filters out half of the light emitted by the backlight. As mentioned above, OLED hat no backlighting and therefore not this drawback. But there are some other drawbacks we will discuss right now.
The major drawback is the limited lifetime of organic materials. This problem still needs to be solved to push OLED technology to be more successful in the future. Blue OLEDs have only a lifetime of around 5,000 hours, when used in flat panel displays, which is much lower than the typical lifetimes of LCDs or plasma displays. But there are various experimentations to increase the lifetime, some are reporting that they already reached a lifetime up to 10,000 hours and above.
Organic materials can easily be damaged by water intrusion into the displays. Therefore an improved sealing process is necessary for OLED displays.
The development of the technology is restrained by patents held by Kodak and other companies. For commercial development of OLED technology it is often necessary to acquire a license.