Plastic display circuit shines

November 19/26, 2003

Researchers developing inexpensive, large flat-panel displays are looking for ways to combine organic, or plastic, light emitting diodes and plastic thin film transistors.

Organic materials are cheaper and more flexible than the silicon used in today's flat-panel displays, and have the potential to form transparent screens.

Researchers from the University of Tokyo have taken a step forward by fabricating on a glass surface a circuit that contains an organic light-emitting diode and an organic thin-film transistor. The diode was bright enough to be used in a display, according to the researchers.

The researchers' circuit was different from previous prototypes because they made the transistors from pentacene, an organic material with particularly good electrical properties.

The researchers' next steps are to find ways to more finely control transistor performance, and to integrate many light emitting diodes into a usable array of pixels.

The organic circuits could be used in practical displays in five to ten years, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the October 20, 2003 issue of Applied Physics Letters.

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