Next-gen OLED panels may be based from solar panels

Scientists have borrowed technology being used in solar panels to develop an OLED panel with a more excellent resolution than ever before.

The latest breakthrough in display technology, OLED, has been brought by Stanford researchers and Korean collaborators.

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, which is the technology of display most commonly found in TVs, smartphones, and other devices around us.

The new technology would allow the resolution of devices to go from 500 PPI to potentially 10,000 PPI.

Scientist Mark Brongersma collaborated with the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) for the project.

Brongersma believes that the nanoscale photonics’ field keeps bringing new surprises and will soon impact real lives.

The newly created OLED displays would reportedly be cheaper, brighter, and more color-accurate than the existing technology.

The primary function of an OLED

OLEDs are organic light-emitting materials that produce light. The emitters within an OLED panel give red, green, or blue light when electricity is passed through them.

There are two types of OLED panels, the red-green-blue configuration, and the white OLED panels. The former is generally used for smaller displays like smartphones, and the latter is usually used for TVs, says Tech Explore.

How the project came to be

The idea came to Won-Jae Joo, a SAIT scientist, who got the inspiration from Majid Esfandyarpour, a Stanford graduate student.

Majid developed an ultrathin solar cell technology in Brongersma’s laboratory, which Joo believed had more implications than met the eye.

Joo then approached Majid with his idea, which led to the collaboration between researchers at Stanford, SAI, and Hanyang University in Korea.

How solar panels and new-OLEDs are related

Both technologies’ foundation lies within the base layer of reflective metal with smaller than microscopic corrugations, called an optical metasurface.

The metasurface reflects light and allows different colors to resonate in the pixels. It helps in the efficient extraction of light from OLEDs.

Brongersma explained the matter using musical instruments and how they use acoustic resonances for better and louder tones.

According to the laboratory tests, the researchers produced successful prototypes of the same.

The miniature proof-of-concept pixels have higher color purity and a twofold increase in luminescence efficiency than color-filtered white-OLEDs.

The prototypes also show signs of the possibility of an ultra-high pixel density of 10,000 pixels-per-inch, says Al Khaleej Today.

Meanwhile, further steps would be taken by Samsung, one of the world’s leading OLED makers.

Stay tuned for more!

Image courtesy of jonanderswiken/Shutterstock

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