We're currently experiencing the rise of the compact fluorescent...and soon after will come LED lamps. But what comes after LEDs? The Organic LED of course. OLEDs are already used as cell phone and MP3 displays and futurists have them pegged in everything from wearable displays to photovoltaic windows. But the technology is a long way off, which is why we're happy to announce that the University of Bath is leading a $1.7 million research effort to lay the groundwork for the OLED revolution.
OLEDs are so versatile because they are both thin and flexible. And they're ecogeeky because they're extremely efficient and can be reversed.
"What's that?" you say? What I mean is that OLEDs, which generally use electricity to create light, can be reversed to use light to create electricity, basically making them a photovoltaic cell.
OLEDs still require a lot of research before they will be a viable, economical lighting technology. But it'd be nice if my solar powered shirt could display RSS feeds on my arm. And maybe OLEDs are going to get us there.
written by Ron Mertens, May 29, 2007
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