Article last updated on: Jul 10, 2019

OLED technology enables thin, efficient and bright displays and lighting panels. OLEDs are currently used in many mobile devices, some TVs and lighting fixtures. OLED displays offer a better image quality compared to LCD or Plasma displays - and can also be made flexible and transparent.

The actual OLED materials are transparent, and indeed it's possible to fabricate transparent OLEDs (sometimes refereed to as T-OLEDs). Many OLED makers are developing transparent OLEDs, and we have seen prototypes up to 55" in size (the largest and most advanced transparent OLED prototypes have been demonstrated by Samsung and LG). Samsung did intend to start producing 55" transparent OLEDs in 2016, but later decided to stop that program.

Small (up to 2.4" in size) transparent OLED displays have been in the market for several years - but applications have been few and far between. Both Neoview Kolon and Futaba used to produce such displays (in April 2013 we posted a review of Futaba's 2" 160x128 transparent PMOLED panel - but both companies stopped producing these OLEDs and currently it is difficult to acquire non-custom transparent OLEDs.

Transparent OLED Lighting

OLED technology can be used to make lighting panels - these are thin, area-lit and efficient lighting panels, that can be made transparent. Unlike displays, transparent OLED lighting panels have more immediate applications (embedded in windows, for example). In April 2012 we posted our hands-on review with a transparent Tabola OLED lighting panel sample.



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  • Transparent OLED properties and advantages
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The latest transparent OLED news:

Researchers develop a method to 3D Print transparent OLED displays

Researchers from Korea's Yonsei University has developed a 3D printing technique that can be used to deposit transparent OLED displays on any shape. The new technique 3D prints both the support structure and the 3D screen electronics.

OLED 3D printing stack scheme (Yonsei University)

The method is based in Digital Light Processing (DLP) system that prints the transparent plastic frames, and then uses an electrohydrodynamic jet (e-jet) printer to create the OLED layers as seen in the image above.

The Fraunhofer FEP Monarch flexible transparent OLED lighting kit - hands on review

In 2018 the Fraunhofer FEP institute announced it is starting to offer a design kit that includes several flexible and transparent OLED lighting panels. The Monarch Kit includes several colored butterflies samples, and the researchers were kind enough to send us one such kit for a short review.

So first of all, these OLEDs look beautiful. They shine a beautiful uniform colored light and are very nicely done. There's not much functionality, but it shows the potential of flexible OLED lighting quite nicely.

OLED-Info's foldable, flexible, VR/AR, transparent, microdisplays, PMOLED, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to October 2019

Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive, PMOLED and graphene OLED markets. OLED-Info provides comprehensive niche OLED market reports, and our reports cover everything you need to know about the niche market, and can be useful if you want to understand how the OLED industry works and what this technology can provide for your own industry. The reports are now updated to October 2019.

The Flexible and Foldable OLED Market Report:

  • Why flexible displays and lighting panels are so exciting
  • What kind of flexible displays are currently on the market
  • All about the foldable OLED market and industry
  • What the future holds for flexible OLEDs
  • How to acquire flexible OLEDs for your products

The report package provides a good introduction to the flexible and foldable OLED market - present and future. It details both flexible displays and lighting technologies. Read more here!

LG Display to double its transparent OLED display production by the end of 2019

In February 2019 LG Display started producing its 55" FHD transparent commercial OLED displays, and now the company says it plans to double its transparent OLED production in Q4 2019 - and continue to ramp up production years to come. LGD sees possible applications in shop windows, building façades and exhibition spaces.

LG Display is also working with partners such as Planar - who recently announced its 2nd-Gen LookThru (LO552) OLED displays.

PlayNitride shows advanced flexible and transparent Micro-LED displays

PlayNitride demonstrated its latest Micro-LED displays at SID DisplayWeek 2019 - a 7.56" 720x480 (114 PPI) transparent MicroLED, a flexible Micro-LED on a polyimide substrate and a high-brightness, high-resolution passive matrix MicroLED aimed towards wearable applications.

PlayNitride aims to release its first Micro-LED display products by the end of 2019. In 2017 the company started to sample micro-LED panels and shipped samples to 10-20 potential customers.

Here is Panasonic's wooden-cabinet transparent OLED prototype

In April 2019 Panasonic unveiled a transparent OLED TV prototype housed in a wooden cabinet. Here's a nice video showing the display in action:

Panasonic has been showing transparent OLED display prototypes and concepts since 2016. This specific prototype was designed by Scandinavian based designer Daniel Rybakken in collaboration with Panasonic Design Kyoto.

CSoT demonstrated new OLED display prototypes and technologies at SID DisplayWeek 2019

China-based display maker CSoT demonstrated several new OLED display prototypes and technologies at SID 2019, and this great new video shows these displays in action.

First up is a 31" 4K (3840 x 2160, 144 PPI) AMOLED that was produced using an ink-jet printing process on an IGZO substrate. The peak brightness is 200 nits and the refresh rate is 120 Hz. This seems to be the same panel announced in March 2018 by Joshua Printing Display Technology (established by CSoT and Tianma in 2016). The display has some noticable defects.

OLED-Info's foldable, flexible, VR/AR, transparent, microdisplays, PMOLED, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to July 2019

Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive, PMOLED and graphene OLED markets. OLED-Info provides comprehensive niche OLED market reports, and our reports cover everything you need to know about the niche market, and can be useful if you want to understand how the OLED industry works and what this technology can provide for your own industry. The reports are now updated to July 2019.

The Flexible and Foldable OLED Market Report:

  • Why flexible displays and lighting panels are so exciting
  • What kind of flexible displays are currently on the market
  • All about the foldable OLED market and industry
  • What the future holds for flexible OLEDs
  • How to acquire flexible OLEDs for your products

The report package provides a good introduction to the flexible and foldable OLED market - present and future. It details both flexible displays and lighting technologies. Read more here!

Planar launches its 2nd-Gen 55" transparent OLED signage displays likely based on LGD panels

In November 2015 Planar launched its LookThru displays, based on 55" FHD transparent OLED panels made by Samsung Display. SDC stopped producing these OLEDs shortly after, though, and Planar had to halt its sales.

In February 2019 LG Display launched its own 55" FHD transparent OLED production, and now Planar announced its 2nd-Gen LookThru (LO552) displays - which are likely based on LGD's panels this time.

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