A new technique makes it possible to print flexible arrays of thin inorganic light-emitting diodes for displays and lighting. The new printing process is a hybrid between the methods currently used to make inorganic and organic LEDs, and it brings some of the advantages of each, combining the flexibility, thinness and ease of manufacturing organic polymers with the brightness and long-term stability of inorganic compounds. It could be used to make high-quality flexible displays and less expensive LED lighting systems.
Organic light emitting diodes, or OLEDs, promise to bring a great deal of flexibility to where we can put a display—literally. Because of their organic components, it should be possible to create flexible and transparent displays, opening up a large number of potential uses. But now, just as OLEDs may finally be ready for the consumer market, some engineers have figured out a way to get many of the same properties using inorganic LEDs (ILEDs), using a method that's so simple, even a biologist could understand it.
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