OLED displays are some of the most efficient displays on the market. They are found in high-end smartphones laptops and televisions. However, their cost of production is very high. The evaporative deposition process used to fabricate the OLEDs in part makes the displays costly to produce.
An alternative method using solution-based fabrication (roll-to-roll, spin coating, etc.) allows lower cost, larger area, and higher throughput than evaporative deposition methods, but such methods inherently limit patterning capabilities. Developing a simple method to generate phosphorescent OLED arrays has proven to be a major challenge.
Indium Tin Oxide Substrates Used to Grow Patterned OLED Material
Researchers from University of California Santa Barbara and Dow Chemical have devised a method of using indium tin oxide substrates to grow patterned, electronically active, polymer OLED brushes (pixelated structures).
From this method of fabrication, the researchers were able to demonstrate white emission from a red, blue, and green pixel array. In an additional demonstration, they fabricated functional, multi-color OLEDs to show the potential for such OLED materials in next-generation displays. Overall, the researchers were able to achieve remarkable control over size, shape, and architecture using this solution based approach.
Page, Z. A., Narupal, B., Pester, C. W., et. al. Novel Strategy for Photopatterning Emissive Polymer Brushes for Organic Light Emitting Diode Applications. ACS Central Science, June 7, 2017. DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.7b00165