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April 25th, 2007
Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays are attractive because they are bright, efficient, and thin enough to be flexible. But they are currently limited to use in small displays, such as those in mobile phones. That's in part due to the failings of one piece of the device, a transparent electrode used to light up the display. Now researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new type of electrode that could help clear the way for large, flexible OLED displays.
OLEDs consist of organic semiconductor layers sandwiched between two electrodes, one of which must be transparent to allow light to escape. Today's displays use a transparent film of indium tin oxide (ITO), but this material is expensive, fragile, and inflexible, which makes it unsuitable for large-area flexible displays. It can also degrade the organic light-emitting layers.
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