New OLED Design for Better Lights

Guest_Jim_* - November 13, 2013 01:08PM in Science & Technology

Organic Light Emitting Diodes, or OLEDs, are a light-generating technology many people and companies are interested in for use in displays on phones, cameras, and even some televisions. They potentially offer cheap displays that are still bright and vibrant, but still have issues. One of these issues researchers at the University of Bonn, Regensburg University, the University of Utah, and MIT have managed to solve, and it should lead to a bright future.

In general, LEDs, organic or otherwise, generate light when a negative electron meets a positive hole, and energy is released as a photon. The problem is that it is not as simple as that, due to quantum mechanical effects. Specifically, if the spins of the two charge holders are the same, they will not collide and release energy as a photon, but instead create unwanted heat. Traditionally this was addressed by adding certain metals, such as platinum or iridium, which are both rare and expensive. What the researchers have found though is a new OLED design that allows it to hold energy long enough for the spins to flip naturally.

By removing the need for the noble metals, this research could significantly decrease the cost of OLED displays. Also, because more energy will be converted to light than heat, the resulting displays should be brighter and more efficient.

Source: University of Bonn