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Optoelectronics/Displays??

Physicists create polymer with tunable colours for white OLED

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:white OLED? platinum metal? polymer?

The polymers in the new study aren't quite OLEDs because they emit light when stimulated by other light. An OLED is a polymer that emits light when stimulated by electrical current.

"We haven't yet fabricated an OLED with it," Vardeny indicated. "The paper shows we get multiple colours simultaneously from one polymer," making it possible to develop an OLED in which single pixels emit white light.

Vardeny predicts about one year until design of a "platinum-rich pi-conjugated polymer" that is tuned to emit white light when stimulated by light, and about two years until development of true white organic LEDs.

The platinum-doped polymers hold promise for making white OLEDs, but can convert more energy to light than other OLEDs now under development, Vardeny stated. That is because the addition of platinum to the polymer makes accessible more energy stored within the polymer molecules.

Ideally, a new generation of white OLEDs would not only produce true white light, but also be much more energy efficient because they would use both fluorescence and phosphorescence, he added.

For the study, the researchers used two versions of the same polymer. One version, Pt-1, had a platinum atom in every unit or link in the chain-like semiconducting polymer. Pt-1 emitted violet and yellow light. The other version, Pt-3, had a platinum atom every third unit, and emitted blue and orange light.

By varying the amount of platinum in the polymer, the physicists could create and adjust emissions of fluorescent and phosphorescent light, and adjust the relative intensity of one colour over another.

"What is new here is that we can tune the colours the polymer emits and the relative intensities of those colours by changing the abundance of this heavy atom in the polymer," Vardeny noted. "The idea, ultimately, is to mix this polymer with different platinum units so we can cover the whole spectrum easily and produce white light."

Vardeny conducted the study with former University of Utah postdoctoral researcher Chuanxiang Sheng, now at Nanjing University of Science and Technology in China; Sergei Tretiak of Los Alamos National Laboratory; and with University of Utah graduate students Sanjeev Singh, Alessio Gambetta, Tomer Drori and Minghong Tong. The physicists hired chemist Leonard Wojcik to synthesise the platinum-rich polymers.


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