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The global OLED market can be broken down into two subsegments: displays and lighting. The displays segment, valued at $2.4 billion in 2011, is projected to reach $3.6 billion in 2016, yielding a CAGR of 8.3%. The lighting segment should be worth more than $600 million in 2011, and in 2016 should be valued at more than $1.6 billion, a CAGR of 21.9%.
Simply defined, OLEDs are thin film devices that consist of organic layers sandwiched between electrodes. The basic principle behind organic light emitting devices is electroluminescence; the material emits light in the presence of an electric current. OLED structure is different from the inorganic LED semiconductor approach, which allows for more attractive technological properties, including sharper contrast, reduced power consumption, color tunability, and screen flexibility.
The rapid progress of mobile devices such as cell phones, PDAs, iPods, and others has increased the demand for small, colorful screens. Less weight, a wider viewing angle, and lower power requirements all assisted in making a market for OLED displays. They provided full color, full-motion flat panels with a level of brightness and sharpness that fill the requirements.
Technological lighting advancements have offered another burgeoning market for OLEDs. Inorganic devices are already setting records for efficacies and brightness, and the organic models offer supplements and additions to this expansive field.
OLEDs are poised to be the next generation of display and lighting technology, if fabrication costs can be lowered enough to mass-produce devices economically.
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