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November 23rd, 2007
Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) can be made more cheaply and easily thanks to a new molecule made by Chinese chemists. OLEDs use less power than liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and can be made much thinner, so making them cheaper and longer-lasting is important for the electronics industry.
Most OLED materials need several layers to provide a flow of electrons and 'holes', or spaces where electrons can move into, and other layers to stop the flow of electrons or holes in the right places. But the new molecule improves on current OLED designs by performing several necessary electronic functions in just one layer. It can also be treated to emit all the colours required for laptop and mobile phone displays.
The new molecule comprises a quinoxaline group, which accepts electrons very readily, and bulky polyphenyl groups, which stop the molecules sticking together and losing energy by nonradiative pathways - this means it can take the place of several layers in the OLED.
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