Many people will tell you about how light emitting diodes are very efficient, because they directly produce light. In actuality though, they are not as efficient as they can be, as their structure allows polarized light to become trapped within the LED. Researchers at the University of Utah though, have found a design that could free as much as 80% of the trapped light.
Typically the molecules in an LED are long and thin, like spaghetti. This causes whatever light they produce to be polarized in the direction of the molecules, but it also means the light can become trapped within the molecules, as they are like optical fibers. To free the light, or rather to keep much of it from being trapped in the first place, the researchers have built round, symmetrical molecules, shaped like rotelle. This will increase the amount of light released and the efficiency of the LEDs, which could greatly affect the battery-lives of devices with OLED displays. At least in theory.
As promising as this approach is, more work has to be done to prove it works. Once that is done, maybe we will see it enter our devices and keep our batteries going longer.
Source: University of Utah