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Power Earth Technology

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 17, 2009 @10:25AM (#28729527)
    I'm just going to buy lights that are 75% brighter.
    • Maybe they'll be bright enough to use for area lighting?

    • Yep, even a 100W standard bulb in a small room is much too dark compared to outdoors. I'd love to have more powerful lighting tech available, but not at reduced output -- at the same output or better.

      Where this will really make a difference though, is in mountain bikes --- it currently costs around £350 for a reasonably high-end lightsource for bikes, and even then, the high-end well-reviewed stuff just sucks for any serious riding in the dark. Riding in the dark isn't just necessary in winter -- it

      • Errr... if you're using a light, you're not riding in the dark.
      • I think I'd rather double the battery life on my iphone than save a few dollars on my bike..

    • 400%....

    • People do seem to like their brightness. Too often, I see them have their TVs, monitors and devices set so bright that it even screws up the color quality.

  • 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 goobermaster ( 1263770 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @10:36AM (#28729673)

    Now _that_ is a cool name for a scientific journal. I can imagine reading it now...

    [Me]: Wow, OLED's use 75% less energy now!
    -turns pages-
    [Me]: Oh, fusion! That was fast!

    • So fast, the latest issue personally delivered by ninjas, wherever you are - a few hours after you get the last one.

  • by holmstar ( 1388267 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @10:37AM (#28729691)
    And we're one step closer to animated cereal boxes...

    Oh joy.
  • Previous oleds (of which I have no idea how those compare to a standard bulb), or a standard bulb or ???? How does this compare to a standard 75w bulb?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    OLEDs have traditionally had very short life spans compared to other display technologies. Does the 'surfance plasmon enhanced' (SPE) device fair any better?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by f8l_0e ( 775982 )
      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.
      • I've heard that blue is now rated for 30k hours before they hit half brightness. Not so great for continuous lighting, but great for occasional lighting, monitors and TVs. If it is the intensity that hurts, hopefully they'll put in some brightness limiters to stave off premature death from users that just max out the brightness, I don't know why, do most people have glaucoma?

  • bah. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by apodyopsis ( 1048476 )

    Give me a wall screen TV or a whole ceiling panal light and I'll be impressed.

    It has no real purpose unless somebody sells something from it...

  • 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... bu

    • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @11:57AM (#28730883) Journal
      There's not going to be a big difference between a photon flung straight into your eyes and one that's reflected off something.

      A red photon of X wavelength of the same energy will still be perceived the same whether it was reflected or not.

      Now the difference could be in the spectrum.

      The light from LEDs or CRT phosphors are more likely to be rather "narrow band" in spectrum. Basically the colours are created by having 3 narrow "mountains" of differing heights corresponding to Red, Green and Blue.

      Whereas white light (or light from blackbody sources) reflecting off various stuff is more likely to generate wider "mountains".

      I'm not sure if this will cause a perceivable difference in the generated image on screens. But I'm pretty sure there's a difference if you use the light for illuminating stuff e.g. a very narrow band red pigment lit by a real white light source will appear red, but could appear black under "white" light that's generated by red+green+blue LEDs (which is one of the reasons why white LED flashlights use phosphors).
      • There's not going to be a big difference between a photon flung straight into your eyes and one that's reflected off something.

        Perhaps, but until you can prove it, I have an awesome idea for something to sell on late-night infomercials!

      • by deroby ( 568773 )

        The spectrum might be in there for some reason, although IMHO when reading a book, it's pretty much black text on a monochrome piece of paper that I'm looking at anyway.

        Technically there indeed won't be much difference whether the photon was sent directly or indirectly into the eye, but I think the difference in perception here comes from what's going on *around* the screen.
        Eg. when a cloud passes by, the surrounding light-level diminishes by a factor x, your eyes adapt (slightly) to the overall changed con

        • by TheLink ( 130905 )
          > I'd be even extremely gratefull if someone could point me to a way to set the brightness in 'smaller steps' than is currently possible with Fn+Up/Down.

          Try sunglasses. But note that polarized ones might give you problems with LCDs.
          • by deroby ( 568773 )

            Not sure whether you're being funny or not =),
            but I do have considered digging out that 'coated piece of perspex' I used to have hanging in front of my Amiga monitor... It sort of increased contrast, reduced glare and supposedly helped against flicker. Problem is, once I open up that treasure-chest I'll be wanting to get my Amiga(s) back online etc and before you know it I'll have lost days if not weeks purely on nostalgia. (**)

            (** wonder if I'd get SPOT back online somehow.. Anyway, most likely the hard-di

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eth1 ( 94901 )

        There's a huge difference... The reflected light increases proportionately to ambient light, so the display won't get washed out by bright light.

      • A red photon of X wavelength of the same energy will still be perceived the same whether it was reflected or not.

        Expect for the fact that you're utterly and totally wrong...

        "The naked human eye is weakly sensitive to polarization, [...] with practice one can learn to detect polarized light with the naked eye." []

        • by gordyf ( 23004 )

          How is that "utterly and totally wrong"? The eye is extremely weakly sensitive to polarized light, producing an extremely faint effect that requires practice and concentration to see. Try not to overreact.

          • Also the human eye can only detect polarization of blue light, so given that the example was of a red photon it is absolutely correct that a human could not detect any difference in polarization.

    • 1) One other difference is the image/light from many screens tends to flicker.

      Many CRTs will flicker - the refresh rate is typically from 60-85Hz. The LCD panel backlight might also flicker a bit too. I'm not sure about the OLED tech.

      For the people who say you can't see the difference, just wave your hand in front of the screen. Then go out in daylight and wave your hand. Notice a difference?

      Alternatively, look at the screen from the side of your eye - for many people the image will not appear to be as "sta
      • Apparently with OLEDs the blacks should be much blacker than LCD blacks. But I suspect they're still going to be blindingly bright.

        Why would an OLED still have bright blacks? The reason LCD's don't do black well is because the pixels can't totally block the backlight. OLEDs have no backlight so a black pixel should not emit any light.

        • by TheLink ( 130905 )
          The blacks should be blacker, but I'm suspecting the OLED whites would be blindingly bright.

          So you're going to have many digit contrast ratios that the marketing and advertising people are going to love.
    • Ever seen a good old paper-white grayscale CRT?

      Simply adjust your monitor to suit - it aint that hard (except of course many LCDs have very poor spectra..)

      A lot of people run their monitor eye-burningly bright, then complain of eye strain - a book doesnt actually have that much contrast!

  • by vojtech ( 565680 ) <> on Friday July 17, 2009 @10:49AM (#28729879)
    It's just 75% increased emission rate, not 75% less energy. Continuous wave photoluminiscence doubles, though, according to the article. 75% more efficient would've been four times the output. So not THAT great, but still rather awesome.
    • for the lay person, you can still get the same brightness for less energy consumed though poindexter!

    • by ahecht ( 567934 )

      I was just going to post that. Assuming power consumption/light output is linear, a 1.75 increase in luminosity is equivalent to a 42.9% reduction in power since (1.75-1)/1.75 = .429

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ckthorp ( 1255134 )
      Isn't "75% more efficient" only 75% more output? Efficiency is usually listed as lm/W which clearly would indicate 75% more efficient is 75% more lumens. On the other hand, "75% less energy" is 4 times the efficiency.
    • by MagicM ( 85041 )

      So not THAT great, but still rather awesome.


      const double good = 100.0;
      const double great = 150.0;
      const double awesome = 300.0;

      const double THAT = 1.5;
      const double rather = 0.7;

      THAT * great > rather * awesome
      1.5 * 150 > 0.7 * 300
      225 > 210

      Oh cool, I guess it does work out. Nice.

    • Sounds like it emits 75% more of that "Efficient Light" that it produces.

      I'm just saying, I could see how the statement could be reduced to something ambiguous.

  • Does this mean I should wait more on a large-screen television, or do better OLEDs not have anything to do with TV in the forseeable future?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rattenhirn ( 1416947 )
      Don't wait unless you plan to wait forever. There's always something new and shiny on the horizon!
    • Sony and LG both have plans to release OLED TVs within the next year. The new Sony TV is planned to be 27 inches, so large screen OLED displays could be on the horizon although it's probably a few more years out.

  • by Ancient_Hacker ( 751168 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @11:32AM (#28730507)

    (1) OLED Breakthrough Yields 75% More Efficient Light
    (2) ...reducing the ultra-thin lightsâ(TM) energy consumption by 75%
    (3) increases photoluminescence emission rates by 1.75 times
    (4) increases light intensity twofold.

    *Four* numerical figures, and no two of them compatible in any way.

    (1): "a 75% more efficient light" would mean an increase to 175% or original, a factor of 1.75 times better.
    (2): "reducing by 75%" means a factor of 4 better.
    (3): "increases photoluminescence emission rates by 1.75 times" means a 2.75 time increase, a factor of 2.75
    (4): "increases light intensity twofold" is a factor of 2.

    All incompatible. Wonder what the real numbers are?

    • Well said -- wish I had points.
    • by Lifyre ( 960576 )

      It's obviously somewhere between reality and some stuff they made up to win grant money.

    • (1): "a 75% more efficient light" would mean an increase to 175% or original, a factor of 1.75 times better.

      Wouldn't that be merely 0.75 times better? With your version, if it were a "0% more efficient light", you'd be wording it as "a factor of 1.0 times better".

      (2): "reducing by 75%" means a factor of 4 better.

      If power weren't reduced, you'd be wording it "a factor of 1 better". But this one is tricky as factor of N implies a fraction of 1/N, so we can't just say "a factor of 3 better", as the fraction

  • ....To fly over in my fusion powered flying car to pick some up on the way to the drug store for my telomere repairing anti-cancer pills.

  • The world needs more Lojbanists! []

    "75% More Efficient Lights"--does the breakthrough mean that the lights produced are 75% more efficient, or that 75% more lights are being made that are efficient?

  • 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.
  • "The method using surface plasmon represents a new technology to enhance the emission efficiency of OLED. It is expected to greatly contribute to the development of new technologies in OLED and flexible display, as well as securing original technology," --Prof. Choi

    Doesn't that just sound like something out of the Alpha Centauri tech tree?

    Light emitting diodes tech is one of my favorite. It and all the inventions which derive from it, makes life look and feel as though we're truly in, "The Future" as I ima

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."