OLED history: A ‘guided tour’ of OLED highlights from invention to application






















  • December - CDT IPOs, lists on NASDAQ.
  • November - OLED displays with 50,000h operating lifespan from URT.
  • November - Seiko Epson will commercialize OLED TVs by 2007.
  • October - LG.Philips develops 20-inch OLED display.
  • September - Sony Starts Mass Production of Organic EL Displays, and released first a new clie PDA with a 3.8in 480 x 320 OLED screen.
  • July - OLED-Info is on-line, the web's first OLED community site.
  • June - Toppan to volume produce large-size OLED panels.
  • May - Seiko Epson unveils first 40" colour OLED display.
  • May - Universal Display Corporation Announces Record-Breaking Power Efficiencies for its Phosphorescent White OLED Technology.
  • May - Taiwan's AU Begins Mass Production of Organic EL Panels.
  • May - Universal Display Corporation Unveils Ground breaking Flexible OLED Prototype on Metallic Substrate.
  • April - Teco Optronics to invest NT$300 million to build new PM OLED plant.
  • April - RiT Display ships mobile phone OLED sub-displays to Samsung, says paper.
  • April - Seiko Epson Reveals 12.5-Inch Organic EL Panel for Large TVs.
  • April - RiT Display shipping OLED panels to Motorola.
  • March - GE Global Research Breaks Two World Records For OLEDs As A Lighting Device. Demo Lighting Panel is Biggest and Most Efficient Ever Created.
  • March - NEC drops its OLED business .
  • March - Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. (CMO) has announced a fully functional prototype of a 20-inch full-color OLED display - the largest Amorpheous Si TFT.
  • February - Philips 639 mobile phone applies PolyLED technology in unique 'Magic Mirror' display.
  • January - Opto Tech to invest NT$4.5 billion in four new OLED lines in 2004.


  • December - Univision reaches monthly capacity of 6,000 OLED substrates.
  • December - Casio Ventures into Organic EL Panels Driven by Amorphous Si TFT.
  • November - Tohoku Pioneer Corporation to Be First Manufacturer to Use Universal Display Corporation's PHOLED Material in a Commercial OLED Display.
  • November - Univision showcases 65,000-color mobile phone OLED sub-display.
  • October - Sanyo Unveils Long-Lasting QVGA Organic EL Panel for Cell Phones.
  • October - Univision begins OLED production.
  • September - AU Optronics has showcased its 1.93" AMOLED for Mobile Phone.
  • September - Princeton electrical engineers have invented a technique for making Organic Solar Cells that Could Lead To Widespread Use Of Solar Power.
  • June - ERSO and Windell develop 10-inch LTPS TFT technology-based AM OLED display.
  • June - Sony to invest nine billion yen to build OLED production line.
  • May - AUO and UDC develop 4-inch, a-Si TFT backplane-based, red phosphorescent AMOLED.
  • May - Samsung NEC develops 65,000-color PM OLED mobile phone display.
  • May - Sony demonstrated a 24.2 inch OLED panel.
  • April - DuPont forges 'Olight' brand for emerging OLEDs.
  • April - Sony testing 24-inch OLED screen.
  • March - Kodak introduces the first AMOLED digital camera - the Kodak EasyShare LS633.
  • March - IDTech develops 20-inch full-color OLED display.
  • February - RiTdisplay lands mobile phone OLED orders from Samsung and LGE.
  • February - Kodak Licenses Samsung NEC Mobile Display to Manufacture Passive-Matrix OLED Displays.
  • January - Philips invents EL material to generate both red and green light.
  • January - Kodak, Sanyo invest in active-matrix OLED production.
  • January - Sanyo Unveils Mobile Phone with Organic EL Panel Designed for KDDI, announces plans to build full-color OLED production line.


  • December - DuPont Displays and Universal Display Corporation Form Strategic Alliance to Develop Next Generation Displays Combining Aspects of Small Molecule and Polymer OLEDs.
  • November - Pioneer Supplies OLED to LG Electronics for Cell Phones.
  • June - Epson, CDT form polymer OLED production venture.
  • June - AU Optronics develops world's first OLED prototype combining a-Si TFT LCD technology.
  • May - RiTdisplay reportedly receives orders for over one million mobile phone OLEDs.
  • May - Kodak Announces Availability of Evaluation Kit For Active-Matrix OLED Display.
  • April - Philips Announces Industry's First Volume Shipments of Polymer-Based OLED Modules.
  • February - Samsung SDI develops 2.2-inch AM OLED for mobile phones.


  • November - RiTdisplay opens new color OLED/PLED factory.
  • October - Samsung SDI Develops World's Largest Organic Display Panel (15.1 inch).
  • October - Universal Display Reports New Red Phosphorescent OLED Materials, Significant Power Efficiency Advances.
  • October - Universal Display Corporation and Samsung SDI Announce Key Joint Development Agreement.
  • October - Sony Demonstrates 13-Inch, Full-Color OLED Prototype.
  • August - eMagin's OLED Microdisplay Selected by Air Force for F15E Aircraft.
  • May - Toshiba Develops World's First 260,000-Color Polymer OLED.
  • April - Samsung Exhibits Color Organic EL LCD Panel for Mobile Phones at CeBIT (132 by 162 pixels).
  • April - Universal Display Corporation and Sony Corporation Announce Joint Development Agreement Aimed at OLED Television Monitors.
  • February - Sony Develops World's Largest Full Color OLED (13 inches diagonally with a resolution of 800x600 pixels.)

The Early Years

  • 2000 - LG Electronics develops organic EL displays for mobile gadgets
  • 2000 - NEC, Samsung To Develop Organic Wireless Displays
  • 2000 - Sanyo Electric to start mass production of color organic EL panels in 2001
  • 2000 - UDC and PPG Industries Form Strategic Alliance for Development & Supply of Chemicals for OLED Manufacturers
  • 2000 - Motorola Grants OLED Technology Rights To Universal Display And Takes Equity Position
  • 2000 - Toshiba Corp. plans to produce (organic EL) panels in 2001
  • 2000 - Ritek plans to mass produce OLED
  • 1998 - Green Organic LED Shows High Efficiency
  • 1998 - Kodak, Sanyo Show Full-Color Active Matrix Organic Display; First Color OEL Display Increases Threat to LCD Display Dominance
  • 1997 - Pioneer Electronic Produces EL Display with 260,000 Colors
  • 1997 - UDC Demonstrates Flexible Flat Panel Display Technology
  • 1996 - CDT gives world's first public demonstration of Light Emitting Polymer devices
  • 1996 - Pioneer produces the world's first commercial PMOLED - a monochrome 256x64 display for car audio systems.
  • 1987 - Ching W. Tang and Steven Van Slyke develop the world's first working OLED at Eastman Kodak
  • 1950 - Luminance in organic materials is discovered in France.