U Of T researchers create high-efficiency OLED display on plastic

Discovery promises product designers less expensive yet more versatile and durable display technology.

Comments Off on U Of T researchers create high-efficiency OLED display on plastic November 1, 2011
by Design Engineering Staff

Toronto, ON — 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 that is less expensive to manufacture. Currently, OLEDs are produced using heavy-metal doped glass in order to achieve high efficiency and brightness, which makes them expensive to manufacture, heavy, rigid and fragile.

Unlike LCD displays, which require backlighting, OLEDs emit their own light making them sharper and lower-energy displays and hence popular in advanced electronic devices like smart phones and tablet computers.

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.

Wang and Helander were able to re-construct the high-refractive index property 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 OLED 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 Nature Photonics.

Creating the Digital Displays of Tomorrow from U of T Engineering on Vimeo.