microLED, also known as micro-LED, mLED or µLED, is an emerging flat-panel display technology. microLED displays consist of arrays of microscopic LEDs forming the individual pixel elements. When compared with widespread LCD technology, microLED displays offer better contrast, response times, and energy efficiency.
Along with OLEDs, microLEDs are primarily aimed at small, low-energy devices such as smartwatches and smartphones. OLED and microLED both offer greatly reduced energy requirements when compared to conventional LCD systems while also offering an infinite contrast ratio.
As of 2020[update], microLED displays have not been mass-produced, though Sony, Samsung and Konka sell microLED video walls, and Luumii mass produces microLED lighting. LG, Tianma, PlayNitride, TCL/CSoT, Jade Bird Display, Plessey Semiconductors Ltd, and Ostendo Technologies, Inc. have demonstrated prototypes. Sony already sells microLED displays as a replacement for conventional cinema screens. BOE, Epistar and Leyard have plans for microLED mass production. MicroLED can be made flexible and transparent, just like OLEDs.
Inorganic semiconductor microLED (µLED) technology was first invented in 2000 by the research group of Hongxing Jiang and Jingyu Lin of Texas Tech University while they were at Kansas State University. Following their first report of electrical injection microLEDs based on indium gallium nitride (InGaN) semiconductors, several groups have quickly engaged in pursuing this concept. Many related potential applications have been identified. Various on-chip connection schemes of microLED pixel arrays have been employed allowing for the development of single-chip high voltage DC/AC-LEDs to address the compatibility issue between the high voltage electrical infrastructure and low voltage operation nature of LEDs and high brightness self-emissive microdisplays.
Early InGaN based microLED arrays and microdisplays were primarily passively driven. The first actively driven video-capable self-emissive InGaN microLED microdisplay in VGA format (640 × 480 pixels, each 12 microns in size with 15 microns between them) possessing low voltage requirements was realized in 2011 via a hybrid complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) and integrated circuit (IC) hybrid assembly.
The first microLED products were demonstrated by Sony in 2012. These displays, however, were very expensive.
There are several methods to manufacture microLED displays. The flip-chip method manufactures the LED on a conventional sapphire substrate, while the transistor array and solder bumps are deposited on silicon wafers using conventional manufacturing and metallization processes. Mass transfer is used to pick and place several thousand LEDs from one wafer to another at the same time, and the LEDs are bonded to the silicon substrate using reflow ovens. The flip-chip method is used for micro displays used on virtual reality headsets. The drawbacks include cost, limited pixel size, limited placement accuracy and the need for cooling to prevent the display from warping and breaking due to thermal mismatch between the LEDs and the silicon. Also, current microLED displays are less efficient than comparable OLED displays. Another microLED manufacturing method involves bonding the LEDs to an IC layer on a silicon substrate and then removing the LED bonding material using conventional semiconductor manufacturing techniques. The current bottleneck in the manufacturing process is the need to individually test every LED and replace faulty ones using an excimer laser lift-off apparatus, which uses a laser to weaken the bond between the LED and its substrate. Faulty LED replacement must be performed using high accuracy pick-and-place machines. This test and repair process takes several hours. The mass transfer process alone can take 18 days, for a smartphone screen with a glass substrate. Special LED manufacturing techniques can be used to increase yield and reduce the amount of faulty LEDs that need to be replaced. Each LED can be as small as 5 microns across. LED epitaxy techniques need to be improved to increase LED yields.
Excimer lasers are used for several steps: laser lift-off to separate LEDs from their sapphire substrate and to remove faulty LEDs, for manufacturing the LTPS TFT backplane, and for laser cutting of the finished LEDs. Special mass transfer techniques using elastomer stamps are also being researched. Other companies are exploring the possibility of packaging 3 LEDs: one red, one green and one blue LED into a single package to reduce mass transfer costs. 
Quantum dots are being researched as a way to shrink the size of microLED pixels, while other companies are exploring the use of phosphors and quantum dots to eliminate the need for different-colored LEDs. Sensors can be embedded in microLED displays.
Current microLED display offerings by Samsung and Sony consist of "cabinets" that can be tiled to create a large display of any size, with the display's resolution increasing with size. They also contain mechanisms to protect the display against water and dust. Each cabinet is 36.4″ diagonally with a resolution of 960x540.
microLEDs are considered to have innate potential performance advantages over LCD displays, including higher brightness, lower latency, higher contrast ratio, and greater color saturation, plus intrinsic self-illumination and better efficiency. As of 2016, technological and production barriers have prevented commercialization.
As of 2016 a number of different technologies were under active research for the assembling of individual (pixel, or pixel group) LEDs on a substrate. These include chip bonding of microLED chips onto a substrate, considered to have potential for large displays; wafer production methods using etching to produce an LED array followed by bonding to an IC ; and wafer production methods using an intermediate temporary thin film to transfer the LED array to a substrate.
Sony launched a 55 inch "Crystal LED Display" in 2012 with 1920x1080 resolution, as a demonstrator product. Sony announced its CLEDIS (Crystal LED Integrated Structure) brand which used surface mounted LEDs for large display production. As of August 2019, Sony offers CLEDIS in 146", 182" and 219" displays. On September 12, 2019, Sony announced Crystal LED availability to consumers ranging from 1080p 110" to 16K 790" displays.
Samsung demonstrated a 146″ microLED display called The Wall at CES 2018. In July 2018, Samsung announced plans on bringing a 4K microLED TV to consumer market in 2019. At CES 2019, Samsung demonstrated a 75" 4K microLED display and 219" 6K microLED display. On June 12 at InfoComm 2019, Samsung announced the global launch of The Wall Luxury microLED display configurable from 73” in 2K to 292” in 8K. On October 4, 2019, Samsung announced that The Wall Luxury microLED display shipments had begun.
In March 2018, Bloomberg reported Apple to have about 300 engineers devoted to in-house development of microLED screens. At IFA 2018 in August, LG Display demonstrated 173" microLED display.
At SID's Display Week 2019 in May, Tianma and PlayNitride demonstrated their co-developed 7.56” microLED display with over 60% transparency. China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSoT) demonstrated a 3.3" transparent microLED display with around 45% transparency, also co-developed with PlayNitride. Plessey Semiconductors Ltd demonstrated a GaN-on-silicon wafer to CMOS backplane wafer bonded native blue monochrome 0.7" active-matrix microLED display with an 8-micron pixel pitch.
At SID's Display Week 2019 in May, Jade Bird Display demonstrated their 720p & 1080p microLED microdisplays with 5μm & 2.5μm pitch respectively, achieving luminance in the millions of nits. In 2021, Jade Bird Display and Vuzix have entered a Joint manufacturing agreement for making microLED based projectors for smart glasses and augmented reality glasses 
On August 15, 2019, Luumii, a joint venture between Rohinni LLC and KoJa (Cayman) Co. Ltd., announced mass production of their micro and miniLED-based solutions for notebook computer keyboard backlights and logo lighting. Luumii's production output at their Suzhou manufacturing facility is currently 40,000 units per month and is targeting 100,000 units per month by the end of the year.
At Touch Taiwan 2019 on September 4, 2019, AU Optronics demonstrated a 12.1-inch microLED display and indicated that microLED was 1–2 years from mass commercialization. At IFA 2019 on September 13, 2019, TCL Corporation demonstrated their Cinema Wall featuring a 4K 132-inch microLED display with maximum brightness of 1,500 nits and 2,500,000:1 contrast ratio produced by their subsidiary China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSoT).
- "Konka launches tiled large microLED TV displays - with the 236" 8K one priced at $1.25 million | MicroLED-Info". www.microled-info.com.
- "Eyes on Sony's CLED (Crystal LED) display technology: Samsung isn't the only player in the Micro LED game". TechHive. August 2, 2019.
- "Samsung's Massive 292-Inch MicroLED TV Wall Now Shipping - ExtremeTech". www.extremetech.com.
- Shilov, Anton. "Samsung's Micro LED Wall TVs Now Available: Up to 8K, Up to 292-Inches". www.anandtech.com.
- Sony creates colossal 16K screen in Japan. BBC. April 9, 2019.
- "Samsung's Massive 292-Inch MicroLED TV Wall Now Shipping - ExtremeTech". www.extremetech.com. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
- ソニーの新LEDディスプレイ「CLEDIS」日本初披露。新たな大画面・高画質へ (in Japanese). Impress Corporation. June 16, 2016.
- "About". JBD home.
- "LG microLED TV sneaks into IFA, takes a swipe at Samsung". Digital Trends. 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
- "Tianma's Mini-LED HDR and Micro-LED Displays Named People's Choice Award Winners at Display Week 2019". news.thomasnet.com. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
- "See PlayNitride's latest flexible and transparent OLED prototypes | MicroLED-Info". www.microled-info.com. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
- "CSoT demonstrates a 3.3" transparent Micro-LED prototype produced in collaboration with PlayNitride | MicroLED-Info". www.microled-info.com. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
- "TCL shows its Cinema Wall at IFA 2019 - a 132" 4K tiled Micro-LED display | MicroLED-Info". www.microled-info.com. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
- "Full Page Reload". IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
- "Ostendo Develops First Vertically Integrated RGB LED". Insight Media: Display Intelligence. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
- "Sony's Crystal cinema display supports 16K, but could cost millions". Engadget. September 13, 2019.
- "Epistar and Leyard Opto-Electronics to build a $142 million micro-LED and mini-LED production fab in China | MicroLED-Info". www.microled-info.com.
- "Rohinni and BOE launch a micro-LED JV called BOE Pixey, first products to reach the market by the end of 2020 | MicroLED-Info". www.microled-info.com.
- "See PlayNitride's latest flexible and transparent MicroLED prototypes | MicroLED-Info". www.microled-info.com.
- US 6410940, H. X. Jiang; Jingyu Lin & Sixuan Jin et al., "Micro-size LED and detector arrays for mini-displays, hyperbright light emitting diodes, lighting, and UV detector and imaging sensor applications"
- Jin, S. X.; Li, J.; Li, J. Z.; Lin, J. Y.; Jiang, H. X. (2000-01-31). "GaN microdisk light emitting diodes". Applied Physics Letters. AIP Publishing. 76 (5): 631–633. Bibcode:2000ApPhL..76..631J. doi:10.1063/1.125841. ISSN 0003-6951.
- Jin, S. X.; Li, J.; Lin, J. Y.; Jiang, H. X. (2000-11-13). "InGaN/GaN quantum well interconnected microdisk light emitting diodes". Applied Physics Letters. AIP Publishing. 77 (20): 3236–3238. Bibcode:2000ApPhL..77.3236J. doi:10.1063/1.1326479. ISSN 0003-6951.
- Jiang, H. X.; Jin, S. X.; Li, J.; Shakya, J.; Lin, J. Y. (2001-02-26). "III-nitride blue microdisplays". Applied Physics Letters. AIP Publishing. 78 (9): 1303–1305. Bibcode:2001ApPhL..78.1303J. doi:10.1063/1.1351521. ISSN 0003-6951.
- Ozden, I.; Diagne, M.; Nurmikko, A.V.; Han, J.; Takeuchi, T. (2001). "A Matrix Addressable 1024 Element Blue Light Emitting InGaN QW Diode Array". Physica Status Solidi A. Wiley. 188 (1): 139–142. Bibcode:2001PSSAR.188..139O. doi:10.1002/1521-396x(200111)188:1<139::aid-pssa139>3.0.co;2-h. ISSN 0031-8965.
- Choi, H.W.; Jeon, C.W.; Dawson, M.D. (2004). "High-Resolution 128<tex>$times$</tex>96 Nitride Microdisplay". IEEE Electron Device Letters. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 25 (5): 277–279. doi:10.1109/led.2004.826541. hdl:10722/42699. ISSN 0741-3106.
- US 6957899, H. X. Jiang; Jingyu Lin & Sixuan Jain, "Light emitting diodes for high AC voltage operating and general lighting"
- US 7210819
- US 7213942
- US 7221044, "Heterogeneous integrated high voltage DC/AC light emitter"
- US 7535028, "Micro-LED based high voltage AC/DC indicator lamp"
- US 7714348, "AC/DC light emitting diodes with integrated protection mechanism"
- US 8272757, "Light emitting diode lamp capable of high AC/DC voltage operation"
- US 8058663, Z. Y. Fan; H. X. Jiang & J. Y. Lin, "Micro-Emitter Array Based Full-Color Microdisplay"
- US 9047818, J. Day; J. Li & D. Lie et al., "CMOS IC for micro-emitter based microdisplay"
- Dawson, Martin D; Neil, Mark A A (2008-04-04). "Micro-pixellated LEDs for science and instrumentation". Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. IOP Publishing. 41 (9): 090301. doi:10.1088/0022-3727/41/9/090301. ISSN 0022-3727.
- Poher, V; Grossman, N; Kennedy, G T; Nikolic, K; Zhang, H X; et al. (2008-04-04). "Micro-LED arrays: a tool for two-dimensional neuron stimulation". Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. IOP Publishing. 41 (9): 094014. Bibcode:2008JPhD...41i4014P. doi:10.1088/0022-3727/41/9/094014. ISSN 0022-3727.
- McKendry, Jonathan J. D.; Massoubre, David; Zhang, Shuailong; Rae, Bruce R.; Green, Richard P.; et al. (2012). "Visible-Light Communications Using a CMOS-Controlled Micro-Light- Emitting-Diode Array". Journal of Lightwave Technology. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 30 (1): 61–67. Bibcode:2012JLwT...30...61M. doi:10.1109/jlt.2011.2175090. hdl:10072/51676. ISSN 0733-8724.
- Day, Jacob; Li, J.; Lie, D. Y. C.; Bradford, Charles; Lin, J. Y.; Jiang, H. X. (2011-07-18). "III-Nitride full-scale high-resolution microdisplays". Applied Physics Letters. AIP Publishing. 99 (3): 031116. Bibcode:2011ApPhL..99c1116D. doi:10.1063/1.3615679. ISSN 0003-6951.
- J. Y. Lin, J. Day, J. Li, D. Lie, C. Bradford, and H. X. Jiang, "High-resolution group III nitride microdisplays," SPIE Newsroom, Dec. issue (2011). doi: 10.1117/2.1201112.004001
- "MicroLED explained: The next-gen display technology". Android Authority. October 6, 2017.
- "Mastering the manufacture of microLED micro-displays - News". Compound Semiconductor.
- "Yole, Yole Développement, Yole Development, microLED, startup, start-up, panel, Samsung, Display,display, strategy, technology, trend, quantum, efficiency, blue, gree, chip, assembly, process, consumer, smartphone, TV, scree, LTP, TFT, RGB, CMOS, backplane". www.yole.fr.
- "Yole, Yole Développement, Yole Developpement, Yole Development, MEMS, advanced packaging, Sensors, medical technologies, medtech, microfluidic, microfluidics, imaging, CIS, CMOS Image sensors, inertial MEMS, gyroscope, pressure sensor, accelerometer, photonics, manufacturing, power electronics, batteries, energy management, compound semiconductors, LED, LED module, SiC, Silicon Carbide, GaN, gallium nitride, WLP, WLCSP, Flip Chip, TSV, Fan-out, Fan-in, EV/HEV, passive component, active component, IGBT, MOSFET, device, substrate, wafer, DRIE, inverter, thermal management, data center, battery pack, emerging technologies, energy storage, smart grid, smart cities, sapphire, Apple, 2.5D, 3D IC, LED packaging, OLED, UV LED, LED lighting, gas sensors, tablets, smartphones, biometry, finger print, emerging non volatile memories, NVM, autonomous vehicle, wearable electronics, wearable, IR detector, IR imager, imager, defense, aerospace, industrial, BioMEMS, microfluidic technologies, microfluidics, uncooled infrared imaging, drones, consumer robots, sensing, silicon photonics, camera module, deposition, thinning equipment, dicing equipment, photolithography, renewable energies, inspection, metrology". www.yole.fr.
- "Researchers unveil micro LED displays without mass transfer". DIGITIMES.
- "The Challenges of Micro LED Display Inspection and Repair". www.ledinside.com.
- "Micro LED Manufacture Process Introduction and Difficulties Analysis". www.ledinside.com.
- "MicroLEDs: The Next Revolution In Displays?". May 29, 2019.
- "MicroLED - The Display-Technology of the Future :: AIXTRON". www.aixtron.com.
- "Apple Granted 64 New Patents Including a Mass Transfer System for Micro LED Displays". www.ledinside.com.
- "It Would Take 18+ Days To Make A MicroLED-based Smartphone Screen ..." October 4, 2019.
- "Laser Processing of Micro-LEDs". Industrial Laser Solutions. November 8, 2018.
- "Micro LED, 9 challenges for commercialization". THE ELEC, Korea Electronics Industry Media. March 5, 2019.
- "LEDinside: Observing the Development Trend of Micro LED Display from Micro LED Technology Challenges". www.ledinside.com.
- "The Key Technology to Micro LED: Mass Transfer". December 12, 2018.
- "X-Celeprint | MicroLED-Info". www.microled-info.com.
- "Korean companies develop packaged RGB microLED technology for easier transfer process". www.microled-info.com.
- "StackPath". www.laserfocusworld.com.
- "StackPath". www.laserfocusworld.com.
- "Quantum Dots to Shrink MicroLED Display Pixels". EETimes. January 11, 2019.
- Morrison, Geoffrey. "MicroLED could soon replace OLED screens, and Samsung's first in line to try". CNET.
- Dash, Sweta (April 8, 2019). "MicroLED: Emerging as a Next Generation Display Technology". DisplayDaily.
- "Samsung's The Wall | MicroLED Displays | Samsung Business". Samsung Electronics America.
- "Build the Wall? Check out Samsung's massive direct view microLED display | IT World Canada News". www.itworldcanada.com.
- "IW008J | SMART LED Signage | Samsung Display Solutions". displaysolutions.samsung.com.
- "IW008R | SMART LED Signage | Samsung Display Solutions". displaysolutions.samsung.com.
- Cheng, Skavy (5 Aug 2016), "Overview of Micro-LED History and Current Developments", www.ledinside.com
- InfoComm 2016: Sony Unveils New CLEDIS Display Featuring Ultrafine LEDs.
- "Sony reveals its Cystal-LED MicroLED display prices in Europe | MicroLED-Info". www.microled-info.com. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
- "Sony Electronics Brings 16K-capable Display System to Consumers' Living Rooms with Crystal LED Residential Solutions". www.sony.com. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
- "Our first look at Samsung's massive 146-inch 4K MicroLED TV". Engadget. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
- "Samsung aims to release a premium Micro-LED consumer TV in 2019 | MicroLED-Info". www.microled-info.com. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
- Welch, Chris (2019-01-06). "Samsung's 75-inch MicroLED 4K TV is a huge step into the future". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
- "The Wall Luxury: Samsung's New Digital Display Innovations Introduced at InfoComm 2019". news.samsung.com. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
- Apple Is Secretly Developing Its Own Screens for the First Time, 18 Mar 2018
- "Apple is developing own MicroLED screens: Bloomberg". Reuters. March 18, 2018. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
- "Products on Display at Display Week 2019". Information Display. 35 (3): 35–52. 2019. doi:10.1002/msid.1038. ISSN 2637-496X.
- Palomaki, Peter (2019-06-17). "Top Trends in Quantum Dots at SID Display Week 2019 – Part 1". DisplayDaily. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
- "【SID Display Week 2019】Micro LED Display Products Progress with Chinese Panel Makers Joining the Field". www.ledinside.com. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
- https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vuzix-confirms-that-it-has-entered-into-a-joint-manufacturing-and-supply-agreement-with-jade-bird-display-for-microled-based-display-engine-and-waveguide-products-301205372.html. Missing or empty
- "Luumii MicroLED Joint Venture Enters Mass Production Phase". Rohinni. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
- "AUO Expects Micro LED Commercialization in 1-2 Years". www.ledinside.com. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
- Murphy, David (3 May 2014). "Apple Acquires Micro-LED Display Maker LuxVue Technology". PC Mag.
- Campos, Alvaro (13 May 2014). "Why Did Apple Inc Buy This Micro-LED Tech Startup?". Motley Fool.
- US 8552436, Andreas Bibl, "Light emitting diode structure", published 8 October 2013
- "The Long View With John Doerr", John Doerr of KPC&B describes the microLED concept, starts around the 5 minute mark.
- Crystal LED - Sony
- LED screens are significantly different from microLED
- led screens types