A brighter, cheaper and more environmentally friendly LED light has been developed by researchers at the University of Utah.
Physicists there say their creation could eventually replace LEDs now used in computer and television displays, as well as in traffic lights, general lighting and other electronic devices. But first they have to learn how to warm it up.
“It’s a completely different technology,” said Z. Valy Vardeny, professor of physics and lead author of the study, published in the journal Science.
Called a spin-polarized organic LED, or OLED, the new light produces an orange colour but only operates at temperatures no warmer than minus 33 Celsius.
Vardeny says it could be five years before they produce consumer-level OLEDs, in varying colours, which operate at room temperature.
The OLEDs use a spin-valve device that researchers manipulated so it could emit light. Spin-valves are electrical switches used in TVs, cellphones, computers and other devices.
The entire device, which would be installed inside the bulb, is about the length and width of three to six human hairs and about 1,000 to 2,000 times thinner than a human hair.
The creation contains an organic polymer known as deuterated-DOO-PPV. This means OLEDs can be produced with less toxic waste and the polymer is also less expensive than the ones currently being used in LEDs.