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Optoelectronics/Displays??

New process rolls ultrathin inorganic LEDs

Posted: 26 Aug 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:inorganic LED? lighting? OLED? stamping process?

Stretchable micro-LED display, consisting of an interconnected mesh of printed micro LEDs bonded to a rubber substrate.

Stretchable micro-LED display, consisting of an interconnected mesh of printed micro LEDs bonded to a rubber substrate.

Researchers have developed a new process for creating ultrathin, ultrasmall inorganic LEDs that can be assembled into large arrays. This offers new classes of lighting and display systems with properties that would be impossible to achieve with existing technologies. These include see-through construction and mechanical flexibility.

Applications for the arrays, which can be printed onto flat or flexible substrates ranging from glass to plastic and rubber, include general illumination, high-resolution home theater displays, wearable health monitors, and biomedical imaging devices.

"Our goal is to marry some of the advantages of inorganic LED technology with the scalability, ease of processing and resolution of organic LEDs," said John Rogers, the Flory-Founder chair professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois.

Compared to organic LEDs, inorganic LEDs are brighter, more robust and longer-lived. OLEDs, however, are attractive because they can be formed on flexible substrates, in dense, interconnected arrays. The researchers' new technology combines features of both.

"By printing large arrays of ultrathin, ultrasmall inorganic LEDs and interconnecting them using thin-film processing, we can create general lighting and high-resolution display systems that otherwise could not be built with the conventional ways that inorganic LEDs are made, manipulated and assembled," Rogers said.


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