New breakthrough could dramatically reduce the cost of OLED displays
The present technology for fabricating OLEDs is cost and labour intensive. Professor Do-Hoon Hwang has been conducting research on organic semiconductor materials and electronic device applications, and his team have discovered a way to use far cheaper solution-processed organic LEDs that overcome the problems associated with stacking the composite layers when manufacturing OLED screens.
However, solution-processed OLEDs have limited efficiency and lifetime owing to the difficulty of stacking the constituent layers such as the anode, cathode, hole injection layer (HIL), hole transport layer (HTL), etc. on top of each other to construct the LED.
Prof. Hwang and his colleagues have synthesised a novel solvent-resistant HIL material. This novel HIL material with over 99% solvent resistance, has an optimum energy level that is intermediate between that of the indium tin oxide (ITO) electrode and the HTL. As a result, the researchers achieved photo-crosslinking of (poly-TPD) as HTL on top of crosslinked HIL. In addition, the researchers also demonstrated that the HIL material has high mobility and excellent film-forming properties that are crucial for the commercial viability of solution-processed OLEDs.
It appears that there are no major issues with scaling the new technology to different screen sizes either, so as well as the large screen display market, this could also make OLED more accessible to the smartphone and camera markets too.