Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) are variations of standard light emitting diodes (LEDs) that use organic compounds in place of artificial layers. OLEDs are not as prevalent as normal LEDs, but have the potential to cost significantly less than some older LED technology. There are many uses for organic light emitting diodes, including uses in television and mobile phone screens, portable electronics, and home lighting.
Most OLEDs have two layers of organic material. These are called emissive and conducting layers to which a cathode and an anode are attached. When current is applied, electrons move from the cathode through the organic layers and out of the anode. This produces visible light as electrons pass through.
Television screens are one of the most common uses of organic light emitting diodes. These screens are extremely thin in comparison to other types of displays. This can allow televisions to fit unobtrusively in locations where traditional screens may be too bulky. OLED televisions are also able to refresh thousands of times faster than normal LED TVs. The high refresh rate featured in these televisions makes them ideal for viewing action such as what may be seen in sports and in movies.
Many mobile phones and tablet devices also use organic light emitting diodes. Displays used in these devices have very high contrast ratios,a major advantage for electronics that are often used outdoors in direct sunlight. OLED displays typically consume less power than other types of screens. This feature allows battery-powered phones and other mobile electronics to last longer on a single charge.
OLEDs can also be used for home lighting. Panels can be combined to create walls or tiles that emit white light for reading and other everyday functions. These lighting panels are often more energy efficient than other illumination methods. This type of lighting can also be adjusted to a desired brightness or a specific color. Some organic light emitting diodes are transparent, making it possible to create clear windows that also produce artificial light.
Some of the uses for organic light emitting diodes are still in development, but have great potential in the future. Researchers are testing OLEDs for advanced portable electronics that are much less expensive and fragile than traditional units. The organic layers within OLEDs allow them to bend without breaking. New devices can be rolled and unrolled like a newspaper while displaying interactive content from the Internet or other sources.