Flexible OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diode) enable the device in which it is used to roll or bend while still operating.An OLED emits light due to the presence of thin films of organic semiconductors of thickness approximately 100 nanometers. The regular OLEDs are fabricated on a glass substrate, whereas flexible OLEDs use flexible plastic such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Replacement of glass with PET also reduces weight of the device. Though the flexible OLED market is currently at a nascent stage, it is expected to grow rapidlyin the near future owing to rapid growth ofthe electronics industry. OLEDs also find application in the production of electronic-paper or bendable displays that can be integrated into clothing, wallpaper, or other curved surfaces.
Key drivers of the flexible OLED market include technological advancementsin several industries and growing per-capita income, which encourage customers to buy electronic products with flexible display. Continuous research and development activities create opportunities for expansion of the flexible OLED market.
There are a few limitations associated with flexible OLEDs,which includelowering of efficiencyor brightness, or even complete breakdown of devices on introduction of stress into the organic layers.Encapsulation is another challenge for the flexible OLED market. Flexible encapsulation methods are generally not as effective a barrier to air and moisture as glass;however,research and development activities are being carried outto improve the encapsulation of flexible organic light emitting diodes.
Based on application, the flexible OLED market can be segmented into mobile phones,tablets and notebooks, televisions, automotive and aerospace, wearable electronics, industrial, micro-displays, and others. The automotive and aerospace application segment is growing at the fastest pace, followed by televisions.Amazon,an e-commerce company, has been making extensive use of flexible OLEDs in its e-paper products. Among wearable electronics, flexible OLEDs are growing has a huge opportunity in the space of smart watches and fitness bands which uses flexible OLEDs of below 2 inches .
Based on materials use, the flexible OLED market can be segmented into crystalline and amorphous and solution-castable amorphous. Crystalline flexible OLEDs can be further segmented into three categories namely, PET, Polyethylene Naphthalate (PEN), and Poly-Ether-Ether Ketone (PEEK). Amorphous and solution-castable amorphous can be further segmented into two categories namely, Polycarbonate and Polyethersulphone. Based on technology, the flexible OLED market can be segmented into five categories namely, PM OLED, P-OLED, PH OLED, AM OLED, and SM OLED.
Major restraintsof the flexible OLED market include the need forskilled labor and a complex manufacturing process . Existing glass display is another restraint for the flexible OLED market which has a high demand due to relatively lower price .
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North America dominates the flexible OLED market in terms of global sales, followed by Europe . The Asia Pacific market is also witnessing fast growth. Major companies operating in the flexible OLED market include Atmel Corporation, Sony Corporation, Dupont Display, Delta Electronics, Nokia, Philips Electronics, Hewlett-Packard Company, Corning, Inc., Delta Electronics, Inc. and Plastic Logic, Inc. Majority of the flexible OLED companies are based in the U.S. and Taiwan.
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