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Definition: OLED


(Organic LED) A display technology that offers rich colors, high contrast, deep blacks, wide viewing angle, low power and fast response time for action scenes. Instead of silicon or gallium, which LEDs are made of, OLEDs use "organic" carbon emitting layers. OLED screens are found in TVs, smartphones, tablets, watches and VR/AR headsets. Increasingly, laptop displays and monitors are OLED, but screen burn-in is a problem when the same toolbars and logos remain on screen for weeks on end. See LED and PHOLED.

Transparent OLEDs (TOLEDs) function in heads-up displays and even as window shades. Flexible OLEDs (FOLEDs) can be folded, and OLEDs are also used for general-purpose ceiling and light fixtures. OLED's thinness, transparency and flexibility make it a versatile display technology for the 21st century. See TOLED, FOLED, WOLED and OLED lighting. For more OLED technology details, see OLED layers.






From 11 to 77 Inches
In 2007, Sony's 11" XEL-1 (top) active matrix OLED TV captivated audiences, but its USD $2499 price tag was steep. To enhance the thinness, the tuner was separated from the screen. Five years later, LG and Samsung debuted 55" OLED TVs, and in 2014, LG unveiled a 77" 4K OLED (bottom). (Top image courtesy of Sony Corporation.)