Samsung, Stanford Collaborate to Develop 10,000ppi OLED Display, Could Result in VR Headset Advancements

Wearables

Samsung and Stanford University have collaborated to make an OLED display with resolutions of up to 10,000 pixels per inch (ppi). This could lead to advancement in virtual and augmented reality technologies as high pixel density results in more realistic images, according to the research. The result was achieved by expanding on existing designs for electrodes of ultra-thin solar panels. The pixel density of smartphone displays is much lesser in comparison to the recent development – those with the highest pixel densities are usually around 400ppi to 500ppi.

The high-pixel density displays will be able to provide true-to-life details. Besides the high pixel density, the new OLED displays would also be brighter and have better colour accuracy than the existing versions, according to the research undertaken by Samsung and Stanford University. It will be easier and cost-effective to produce as well.

The development could be beneficial for devices such as virtual reality headsets, given that most VR devices have a screen-door effect – where the fine lines separating pixels become visible.

The crucial innovation behind the new OLED is a base layer of reflective metal with nanoscale corrugations called an optical metasurface. The metasurface, the research explained, can manipulate the reflective properties of light and allow different colours to resonate in the pixels.

The research by Samsung and Stanford University aims to offer an alternative to the two types of OLED display that are currently available commercially. As per the research, the first one, called red-green-blue OLED, has individual sub-pixels that contain only one colour of emitter. These can only be produced on a small scale and is used for smartphones. White OLED displays, meanwhile, are used by larger devices such as TVs.

Researchers successfully produced miniature proof-of-concept pixels in lab tests. When compared with the colour-filtered white-OLEDs, the research found that these pixels had a higher colour purity and showed a twofold increase in luminescence efficiency that helps measure how bright the screen is, compared to how much energy it uses. This also allows for ultra-high pixel density of 10,000ppi.

Samsung is working on how to integrate the development into a full-size display, the research said.


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