Have you dreamed of a TV that will be transparent when it is turned off? LG Display’s recently unveiled 18-inch Transparent OLED Display will bring this imagination to reality. Following interviews with world’s first flexible display developers; LG Display Newsroom will introduce the developers of the 18-inch transparent OLED, Chief Research Engineer Bu Yeol Lee and Chief Research Engineer Binn Kim.

Can you please explain more about the 18-inch Transparent OLED?

Chief Research Engineer Bu Yeol Lee: Previous versions of transparent display were based on LCD technologies. Because LCD requires a polarizer and backlight, there were technical limitations in trying to achieve transparency implementing LCD technology. However, our new transparent panel utilizes OLED technology. Thus, this new transparent OLED panel does not have the technical limitations of LCD technology and can be applied to a wide range of products.

The new transparent display technology, what is the difference between the previous technologies?

Chief Research Engineer Binn Kim: Previous transparent displays lacked refinement; they required a lot of perfecting. This is one of the reasons we had difficulty manufacturing these transparent displays. Through this new development, we were able to improve and refine what was lacking in previous transparent LCD displays. Basically, we achieved better transparency than ever before, implementing OLED technology.

Transparent Displays, Why did your team choose OLED?

Chief Research Engineer Bu Yeol Lee: As I have mentioned earlier, previous generation transparent displays were based on LCD technology. With LCD technology, it was difficult to achieve transparency because LCD requires a polarizer. With a polarizer, permeability of the display decreases. Therefore, self-luminous OLED technology has a lot more advantages than LCD technology.

Your team was able to decrease turbidity down to 2% range. What does that mean?

Chief Research Engineer Binn Kim: Turbidity basically describes how much haze you see on the screen. Pixels on the display are arranged in a mesh—like a fishnet. When visible light gets distorted on the screen, the screen becomes hazy. In order to improve this issue, we restructured the pixels through an optical pixel arrangement process. Thus, we were able to decrease turbidity down to 2%.

What’s “large surface top-emission” technology?

Chief Research Engineer Bu Yeol Lee: The television sets you see on the market use bottom-emission technology during the manufacturing process. There are no products on the market which utilize top-emission technology. It is very advantageous to use top-emission technology to manufacture displays under 10-inches. However, it is difficult to implement top-emission manufacturing technology on a large surface. We unveiled a small 18-inch display, but we are capable of implementing top-emission manufacturing technology on a screen that is as large as 50-inches. Our team was able to demonstrate and get this technology approved to create larger transparent displays. If we invest in infrastructure development, we should be able to implement this top-emission technology on large surfaces.

Was there any difficulty working with outer team members?

Chief Research Engineer Bu Yeol Lee: Initial review of the transparent technology started in 2011. We started out as a small team. Originally, we started with initial technical verification.  Two years ago, as this project became a nationally funded project; we actively started developing this technology with more members on our team. To minimize any conflicts, and for efficiency, we had monthly status workshop meetings with all members of the team. We exchanged key issues with the development and used the time to understand unfamiliar areas of the project. Through these meetings, we were able to prevent any potential issues early on and shorten our development time.

Chief Research Engineer Binn Kim: We also held idea competitions at LG Display to find solutions for technical issues we’ve encountered with our project. We were able to get loads of ideas to resolve these issues and of course speed up the development process. We also held idea competitions at LG Display to find solutions for technical issues we encountered with our project. We were able to get loads of ideas to resolve these issues and, of course, to speed up the development process.

What are the advantages of Transparent OLED compare to Transparent LCD?

Chief Research Engineer Bu Yeol Lee: First of all, OLEDs can achieve greater transparency than LCDs. Currently, LCDs’ transparency is around the mid-10 percent range.

Is there anything you like to add?

Chief Research Engineer Binn Kim: Just like OLED and UHD TVs, I hope transparent display TVs debut as a new product category. I think I am writing new TV history. I just hope it is in the near future.

Chief Research Engineer Bu Yeol Lee: I strongly believe that transparent display technology has a lot of real-life applications. For example, I can see transparent displays being installed on partitions in an office setting. I also hope I can be a great help to the development of future display technologies.

This was an exclusive interview with the developers of the world’s first 18-inch flexible OLED display and the transparent OLED. This was an opportunity to see LG Display’s effort to become a global leader in the display sector. LG Display will continue to work hard to bring to life the display technologies you dreamed of.

To view LG’s range of OLED TVs, visit here.