World's most efficient flexible OLED on plastic created

Oct 31, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Engineering researchers at the University of Toronto have developed the world's most efficient organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) on plastic. This result enables a flexible form factor, not to mention a less costly, alternative to traditional OLED manufacturing, which currently relies on rigid glass.

The results are reported online in the latest issue of Nature Photonics.

OLEDs provide high-contrast and low-energy displays that are rapidly becoming the dominant technology for advanced electronic screens. They are already used in some cell phone and other smaller-scale applications.

Current state-of-the-art OLEDs are produced using doped glass in order to achieve and brightness, which makes them expensive to manufacture, heavy, rigid and fragile.


A video interview with Michael G. Helander discussing this research.

"For years, the biggest excitement behind OLED technologies has been the potential to effectively produce them on flexible plastic," says Materials Science & Engineering Professor Zheng-Hong Lu, the Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Organic Optoelectronics.

Using plastic can substantially reduce the cost of production, while providing designers with a more durable and flexible material to use in their products.

The research, which was supervised by Professor Lu and led by PhD Candidates Zhibin Wang and Michael G. Helander, demonstrated the first high-efficiency OLED on plastic. The performance of their device is comparable with the best glass-based OLEDs, while providing the benefits offered by using plastic.

"This discovery, unlocks the full potential of OLEDs, leading the way to energy-efficient, flexible and impact-resistant displays," says Professor Lu.

Wang and Helander were able to re-construct the high-refractive index property previously limited to heavy metal-doped glass by using a 50-100 nanometre thick layer of tantalum(V) oxide (Ta2O5), an advanced optical thin-film coating material. This advanced coating technique, when applied on flexible plastic, allowed the team to build the highest-efficiency device ever reported with a glass-free design.

The results of Wang and Helander's work titled "Unlocking the Full Potential of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes on Flexible Plastic" are published online in the journal .

Explore further: Researchers build reversible tractor beam that moves objects 100 times farther than other efforts

More information: "Unlocking the Full Potential of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes on Flexible Plastic" Nature Photonics DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2011.259

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User comments : 18

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CapitalismPrevails
2 / 5 (4) Oct 31, 2011
When can i buy a 40 inch OLED HD TV to unroll and place on my wall?
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (2) Oct 31, 2011
Who cares? There is nothing but garbage on the Boob tube anyhow.

The death of American Culture is due to the absolute failure of American style Capitalism.
daywalk3r
3.5 / 5 (13) Oct 31, 2011
This result enables a flexible form factor, not to mention a less costly, alternative to traditional OLED manufacturing, which currently relies on rigid glass.
...
The research, which was supervised by Professor Lu and led by PhD Candidates Zhibin Wang and Michael G. Helander, demonstrated the first high-efficiency OLED on plastic.


http://www.physor...deo.html

Am I missing something crucial about this "world first" (apart from maybe "high-efficiency")? Or are the NOKIA guys using "flexible glass" instead of plastic (lol) for their flexible OLED display?

(Borat voice) I'm confuse :-S
_nigmatic10
not rated yet Oct 31, 2011
Now if we can fit a wi-fi into a contact lens. The possibilities.
Jewelry will hold the hardware and your display will only be seen by you, in whatever clarity desired.
that_guy
not rated yet Oct 31, 2011
When can i buy a 40 inch OLED HD TV to unroll and place on my wall?

Aside from the fact that it would be very expensive, OLEDs have limited useful lifetimes. They're fine for cell phones that you use a few years, however for TVs or larger displays that will be on for hours at a time...

@daywalker - It doesn't say "World first" in the article. The key here is that this display is the first flexible plastic substrate OLED to achieve similar efficiency as glass ones. That means any phone that may actually use a flexible oled display will be able to get the same battery life as one that uses a standard oled - assuming that everything else is the same between the phones.
CapitalismPrevails
1 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2011
Now if we can fit a wi-fi into a contact lens. The possibilities.
Jewelry will hold the hardware and your display will only be seen by you, in whatever clarity desired.


I don't understand how that would work. Your contact lens would move with your eye pupil would it not? So how could you view what you want on the contact lens screen?

Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2011

I don't understand how that would work. Your contact lens would move with your eye pupil would it not? So how could you view what you want on the contact lens screen?


Not only that, but contact lenses actually turn and shift all the time, so it would have to be literally glued to your cornea.
Isaacsname
5 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2011
I wouldn't mind a pair of glasses that doubles as a monitor 0,0
kaasinees
1 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2011
monitors glasses would be cheaper to produce... and you can fit in gyroscopes or other sensors to make it even more fun.

Hopefully they could tune the light so no harmful light waves are produced though. I have special glasses that reflect off harmful screen light and its so much better for my eyes.
Deesky
5 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2011
When can i buy a 40 inch OLED HD TV to unroll and place on my wall?

Aside from the fact that it would be very expensive, OLEDs have limited useful lifetimes. They're fine for cell phones that you use a few years, however for TVs or larger displays that will be on for hours at a time...

I wouldn't be so sure about that. Things are changing rapidly and 2012 looks like it might be the year of OLED TVs.

For example, LG and Apple will be introducing 55 inch models in 2012:
http://www.digita...340.html
CHollman82
1 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2011
Who cares? There is nothing but garbage on the Boob tube anyhow.


In general... I like nova documentaries though, and some things on discovery channel are entertaining if not very intelligent. I don't have cable but I acquire things worth watching easily enough without it.

The death of American Culture is due to the absolute failure of American style Capitalism.


You're gonna have to connect the dots for me on that one...
Deesky
5 / 5 (2) Oct 31, 2011
The death of American Culture is due to the absolute failure of American style Capitalism.


You're gonna have to connect the dots for me on that one...

Greed is not good? I guess that's what the Occupy movement is largely about.
socean
not rated yet Oct 31, 2011
Screw scaling up to big roll-to-roll printing. We don't need more stuff tacked around, our walls to become displays, or more screens in our pockets.

We just need our contact lenses. They've got it working on plastic, now make it work on the same type of plastic used for lenses.

These guys need to focus on scaling things down, not up.
_etabeta_
not rated yet Nov 01, 2011
As usual, claims without figures. I want to know what the efficiency is, in lumems/watt.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2011
The death of American Culture is due to the absolute failure of American style Capitalism.


You're gonna have to connect the dots for me on that one...

Greed is not good? I guess that's what the Occupy movement is largely about.


But greed is good, greed drives productivity and productivity benefits all of us, the haves and the have-nots... the "poor" people in America are better off than the wealthy in some countries. I see "poor" people around here with <4 year old cars with big aftermarket rims, flat screen TV's, and the newest and best cell phones...
socean
not rated yet Nov 01, 2011
My mother recently had cataract surgery. They replaced the lenses of her eyes with plastic ones.

Would you replace your lenses with bionic ones, lenses that let you see in the entire spectrum, that projected anything imaginable into your field of view?

If I had cataracts, or otherwise very poor vision, I certainly would. I might even do it anyway, because I want the enhanced power of visualization at all times, under all conditions.

This is but one of the first "super-powers" humanity will be choosing from soon.
socean
not rated yet Nov 02, 2011
How about a laminate lens? Three layers, the two outer layers are of bio-compatible material, the third inner layer is comprised of layered meshes of graphene that create a semi-transparent array of individually addressable oleds.

The array also carries nano light field cameras for capture and real time processing of the field of view.

With these, users could literally see through each other's eyes in real time. Its more than a virtual reality, its another person's reality.
socean
not rated yet Nov 02, 2011