South Korea has developed the world’s first 77-inch flexible and transparent organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display in a government-funded project.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy(MOCIE), LG Display, and the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (KEIT) held on June 22 in Seoul a presentation for the outcome of the public-private project to develop a 60-inch or larger ultra high definition (UHD) flexible, transparent display and infotainment systems that utilize the display. The presentation was attended by Trade, Industry and Energy Vice Minister Lee Inho, LG Display President Yeo Sang-deog, and around 100 researchers and industry representatives.
The project was led by LG Display, and took 59 months from August 2012 to June this year, with the total investment of 126.2 billion won -- 47 billion won from the government and 79.2 billion won from the private sector.
At the presentation, the 77-inch flexible, transparent display was unveiled for the first time. It has an UHD resolution of 3840x2160 with 40 percent transparency. The panel can be rolled up to a radius of 80mm without its function affected. Its transmittance can be controlled, meaning it can be used in both a television and a window. The size and resolution of the display has significantly improved from the interim product from the project, a 55-inch full HD display that debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2016.
“With the development of flexible and transparent display technologies for OLED, an area South Korea is leading in, it is expected that the application of OLED displays that has been limited to smartphones and televisions will be expanded to architecture, automobiles, medical fields and more,” said Vice Minister Lee Inho.
The project also included research and development of equipment for display production as well as applications of the display. In addition to from LG Display, 18 small and medium enterprises from the upstream and downstream sectors of the display industry participated in the project.
During the project, user interfaces were developed simultaneously with displays panels so that the displays can be immediately used in products. At the presentation, various outcomes including a smart desk and an augmented reality aquarium were exhibited, showing the application of the display in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era.
Furthermore, the R&D involved 163 students from 14 universities, and more than 160 research papers were written during the project.
“This is a case where display panel companies, mostly large corporations, and the upstream and downstream sectors of the display industry dominated by small and medium enterprises joined, developed technologies, created a market, and vitalized the industrial ecosystem. It will set an example for other R&D projects for materials and components, not just for displays,” Vice Minister Lee said.