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OLED Breakthrough Yields 75% More Efficient Lights 151

Mike writes "Researchers at Korea's Advanced Institute of Science and Technology recently announced a breakthrough in OLED technology that reduces the ultra-thin lights' energy consumption by 75%. The discovery hinges upon a new method of creating 'surface plasmon enhanced' organic light emitting diodes that boast 1.75 times increased emission rates and double the light intensity." OLEDnet notes: "The finding was published in the April issue of Applied Physics Letters and the June 25 issue of Optics Express. It will be also featured as the research highlight of the August issue of Nature Photonics and Virtual Journal of Ultrafast Science."
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OLED Breakthrough Yields 75% More Efficient Lights

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  • Sounds good but... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by GreenTech11 ( 1471589 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @10:28AM (#28729555)
    Sounds good, and very likely is, but how much energy is lost in generating the vacuum required to give these lights the extra efficiency? The chances are the light is still more efficient even after taking in the production process.Besides, they look so damn cool! That is awesome
  • by JasperKlewer ( 1600041 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @10:35AM (#28729659)
    The lights radiate 75% more energy. That means a reduction of power of 1 - (1/1.75) = 43%, right?
  • by KibibyteBrain ( 1455987 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @10:42AM (#28729775)
    Many vapor and physical deposition processes in semiconductor manufacture take place in a high vacuum. Making OLEDs probably already requires a vacuum at one stage for such deposition. I would say the efficiency issues with this process hinge on cost, not energy, and even that seems quite manageable.
  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdflat.cCHICAGOom minus city> on Friday July 17, 2009 @10:46AM (#28729841) Journal

    But what *I'd* really like to see is some real advancement in photon-reflective display technology rather than emissive. Our eyes are evolved to primarily observe light reflected _OFF_ of other objects, not photons flung straight into our eyes from some source, and in my experience it is *FAR* easier to observe something for an extended period of time that is being lit by surrounding light than it is to study something that produces its own. I think it may have something to do with pupil dilation... but I'm not sure.

    Now of course, I know there's electronic paper, which I think is awesome, but what I think would be cooler is if A) color were practical, and B) the display could be updated in real-time, at no less than several dozen times per second, making full-fledged animation possible.

  • by thms ( 1339227 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @10:54AM (#28729955)

    OLEDs might be the future for most displays (has the problem of a low blue life span been solved yet?), however when it comes to competing with direct sunlight all they can do is try to outshine it - not a competition any technology so far has won.

    Transreflective LCDs, where the backlight transmits its own light but also reflects incoming light, are much better solution there. And for mostly static displays of course ePaper which will hopefully get faster pixel switching time and colour in the future.

  • by rift321 ( 1358397 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @11:22AM (#28730349) Journal

    Another big advantage with using silver is that it isn't susceptible to photocorrosion (silver oxides do not form readily).

    Hey, sorry for my ignorance, but I thought that silver is highly susceptible to photocorrosion - isn't it used in photographic (b&w) film, or photochromic lenses? I'd just like to know where the difference is, or just some more info.

  • by proc_tarry ( 704097 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @11:32AM (#28730505)
    We will always consume the most amount of energy we can afford. This means power savings from OLEDs will only contribute to having more OLEDs, and total power consumption will remain the same.

    Fundamental equation: Life = Energy. If we as a species don't find a way to regulate energy consumption, Mother Nature will.
  • by f8l_0e ( 775982 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @11:48AM (#28730717)
    Indeed the TFA mentioned nothing. I had the same thought as you, specifically regarding blue OLED. They have the shortest lifespan. I would figure though, if they are 75% more efficient, that mean far less energy being pumped through the device and therefore (though possibly incorrect) less strain on the organic structure and slower breakdown.
  • by John Whitley ( 6067 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @12:00PM (#28730937) Homepage

    Sounds like a great new technology but I get frustrated when product seems to take forever to get to market.

    It's important to keep perspective on news items like this as "research results" rather than "products." That misunderstanding takes the fun out of a great spectator sport. ;-) Sometimes results out of the lab are immediately applicable, more often they take a quite a number of years to work out the practical kinks. E.g. this recent article on silicon for photo detectors in Tech Review [] has a good examples of the kinds of problems researchers have to muddle through on the way from breakthrough to reality. It doesn't help that popular tech reporting (and some researchers) love to add 'hooks' of tantalizing applications for new work... but for all those lofty dreams it's still just a research result.

    In short, it's best not to hitch one's proverbial horse to any one of these announcements. Instead, read a lot of them to get a good sense of where technology is headed and where academia and industry are investing their efforts.

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @01:24PM (#28732089)
    Seven times more efficient according to recent article []. Its fascinating you can teach an old dog new tricks with sufficient economic incentives. I welcome the competition among old and new technologies.
  • by wealthychef ( 584778 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @02:27PM (#28732973)
    Sometimes results out of the lab are immediately applicable, more often they take a quite a number of years to work out the practical kinks

    Besides being +1 insightful, you can replace "sometimes" with "almost never", especially on Slashdot technologies. I honestly cannot remember a SINGLE technology predicted here that I can actually buy yet. But I've only been here a few years.

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