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Spin Trick Could Make OLED Displays Cheaper

Molecules manipulate electron spin to increase light emission without the aid of iridium

4 min read
Spin Trick Could Make OLED Displays Cheaper
Certified Organic: New OLEDs shine brightly even without the usual rare metal additives.
Photo: University of Regensburg

A new way of coaxing light out of an organic LED may make for cheaper displays and could even provide a way to see magnetic fields.

By choosing a molecule of a particular shape, a team of German and American researchers designed a new type of OLED that has the potential to emit as much light as a commercial OLED, but without the rare metals normally added to make the devices efficient. If manufacturers could leave out metals such as iridium or platinum, they might not have to worry about potential shortages of these elements. This would allow them to bring down the costs of OLEDs, which are increasingly being used in the screens of smartphones and televisions, as well as in solid-state lighting.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan
LightGreen

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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