Researchers from Samsung Research and Development
Center and Kookmin University in Korea have devised a relatively simple
method of making arrays of nanoscale light-emitting diodes.
The light-emitting diodes could eventually be used in lasers and
in nanoscale lamps used in sensors and microscopes, according to the researchers.
The researchers made a highly ordered array of millions of nano-scale
lamps by forming a template of nanoscale holes and filling it with organic
semiconductor materials. Each lamp in the moth-eye array is 220 nanometers
in diameter, or about twenty-three times smaller than a red blood cell.
A nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter.
The researchers' prototypes are made from organic, or plastic
materials, but the method could be used to make light-emitting diodes
from inorganic materials as well, according to the researchers.
The technique is simpler than previous methods of making nanoscale
light-emitting diodes, according to the researchers. To make the diodes
the researchers stacked a light-sensitive plastic and a layer of silicon
oxide on an indium titanium dioxide wafer. They used a laser beam interference
pattern to mark the light-sensitive plastic with 220-nanometer spots spaced
360 nanometers apart. Then they fired beams of ions at the materials to
carve tiny holes through the silicon oxide layer at each point a spot
appeared. They filled the holes with three types of organic materials,
added metal electrodes, and capped the device with a 200-nanometer layer
The researchers' three-by-three-millimeter prototype contains
millions of nano-scale lamps.
It will be five to ten years before the nanoscale light-emitting
diodes could be ready for practical use, according to the researchers.
The work appeared in the March 7, 2005 issue of Optics Express
(Nano Hole-Template Organic Light-Emitting Diodes Fabricated Using Laser-Interfering
Lithography: Moth-Eye Lighting).
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