Issue Date: April 28, 2011
Nanotubes Improve OLED Performance
An organic light-emitting diode (OLED) with a low-voltage transistor incorporating carbon nanotubes in place of the traditional power-hungry silicon-based transistor could make large OLED display screens a practical possibility, according to a report (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1203052). Although OLEDs offer color quality and contrast advantages over liquid crystal displays, transistor power-consumption limits OLED usefulness for applications such as TVs and computers. Currently, OLEDs can be found in small handheld devices such as cell phones. Andrew G. Rinzler and Mitchell A. McCarthy of the University of Florida and colleagues had previously shown that thin-film transistors consisting of a network of single-walled carbon nanotubes require relatively little power to drive the electronic action of OLEDs. The team has now prepared fully operational OLEDs incorporating the nanotube-based transistors. These devices produce bright red, blue, and green pixels comparable to those of traditional OLEDs, but at much lower voltages. The researchers note that the pixels can switch on and off rapidly enough to be useful in applications such as high-definition TVs.
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