TOLED is the acronym, in English, for Light Emitting Transparent Organic Diode. This amalgam of words probably doesn’t tell you much, but the practical result is striking: high-contrast transparent screens. If you follow the TV segment, you’ve heard of the excellent image quality that OLED screens guarantee: deep black tones, high saturation colors, excellent contrast and, overall, an image experience that in many ways surpasses , all the others.

TOLEDs preserve many of these characteristics, but are transparent. How is this possible? The main components of the screen (substrate, cathode, anode) are all transparent. In terms of image reproduction, what this means is that each individual pixel, when turned off, allows light to pass through. It is important to note that currently the screens are not completely transparent, as they continue to have some opacity (they let about 35% of the ambient light pass through). And when images are being reproduced, each of the necessary pixels lights up so that the photo or video takes shape, but the brightness must be higher than that of natural light for the content to be visible. And as the light comes directly from the pixels and not through a backlight, it allows the thickness of the screen to be very reduced, as well as the energy consumption. Companies like LG and Xiaomi have already shown TOLED TVs, with the advantage that, in content produced on purpose for these screens, there is a feeling that the images fluctuate.

Although the development of TOLEDs has already been around for ten years, it was only in August that the first large-scale production transparent screen television in the world was announced – the Mi TV Lux OLED Transparent Edition costs, in China, the equivalent of 6500 euros. A value that shows that despite being top of the range, this technology will take years to become more accessible.

But the application of TOLEDs goes far beyond televisions: windows in public transport with contextual information about the trip (or advertisements) and screens for augmented reality devices are areas that promise to give ‘gas’ to this technology.

It is important because

It represents an advance in screen technologies and is applicable to several areas of consumer electronics. In addition, it can be combined with other advances in the field of OLEDs (folding or rolling) in the creation of new electronics devices

“Understanding the future” is a partnership between Exame Informática and Altice Empresas to explain new concepts in Science and Technology

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