Scientists have put a new spin on organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology which could offer brighter, cheaper, and more environmentally sound screens.
The ‘spintronic’ OLEDs differ to the ones that are used in panels such as smartphone screens. Big telly vendors have also been bleating about launching large OLED screens for some time now, though these are expected to command dizzying price tags upon their eventual release.
University of Utah physicists reckon that they have cracked a cheaper way to produce the OLED, using the ‘spin’ of electrons to record information.
This technique is being looked at for the future of computer chips too, and developments with both have been made possible through the invention of a ‘spin valve’.
This was then modified over a number of years to create a valve that, rather than controlling electron flow, was able to produce light, opening the door to developing OLEDs.
The team made advances with the previous method by changing the material used in the organic layer of the spin valve, making the light more efficient.
They also added a material to allow negatively charged electrons to be injected into the valve at the same time as a positively charged one. This meant that more light could be generated by the device.
Creating fully working TVs based on the spintronics method may be some time off, according to the scientists.
At the moment it is only possible to use the device at a rather chilly minus 28 degrees, and they can only create one colour so far – orange. Fine for the Dutch football team and the 90’s ‘Tango Man’ but otherwise unappealing.
The scientists say that they are working one producing red and blue over the next couple of years, with white spin OLEDs in the future too.
As for spin OLED sets hitting the shops, the team reckons it could be another five years before the necessary developments are made.