Samsung Electronics is looking for a way to prolong the life of OLED displays. The South Korean tech giant and Seoul-based school Ewha Womans University recently conducted a study that  examined the “degradation” of OLED displays’ blue lights. 

Yonhap reported over the weekend that Samsung’s joint study with Ewha found the cause of the blue lights’ degradation after sometime. The experts involved also shared what they think should be done in order to ensure the longer lifespan of OLED displays. 

“Extensive research has enabled organic light-emitting devices to outperform conventional displays in various commercial applications. One widely recognized remaining challenge, however, is to improve device lifespan,” the team of researchers said. 

“The relatively short operation time of devices that emit blue light are significant impediments to exploiting the full potential of OLEDs” the team pointed out in the study. They then went on to say that their findings “demonstrate the importance of controlling exciton-induced electron transfer, and provide novel strategies to design materials for long-lifetime blue electrophosphorescence devices.”

It wasn’t clear what really drove Samsung to carry out the study. But it’s worth pointing out that the company’s OLED fabs are currently underutilized, which is mainly due to the disappointing sales of the iPhone X. The sales of the 10th anniversary iPhone apparently forced Apple to reduce its OLED panel orders. 

The Investor reported last week that Samsung Display’s OLED facilities at the A5 plant in Asan, South Chungcheong Province are now likely to manufacture large OLED panels for TVs instead of the OLED panels for mobile devices. “Instead of installing flexible OLED facilities for iPhone X at the A5 plant in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, the display maker will likely set up a line for large-size OLED panels (for TVs) there,” an analyst said. 

In July 2017, Samsung proudly announced that it was investing to build the A5 plant that would be producing more flexible OLED screens for the iPhone X. However, the project was put on hold when Apple nearly halved the production volume of the iPhone X. 

Samsung previously denied rumors claiming that it is going back to developing OLED TVs for the market. The company said that it is focusing on producing QLED and LED displays instead, which actually makes sense considering that LG is dominating the OLED TV market. 

Samsung OLED Samsung has conducted a study on how to extend the life of OLED displays. Photo: Reuters/Lee Jae-Won