Light-emitting polymer displays to replace LCDs

A full-Colour, high resolution display could form the screen in future mobile phones and personal digital assistants within the next two years. Developed by UK technology specialist Cambridge Display Technology and Japanese electronics giant Seiko Epson, the display uses light-emitting polymers (LEPs), plastics that behave like semiconductors and can emit the full spectrum of light. […]

A full-Colour, high resolution display could form the screen in future mobile phones and personal digital assistants within the next two years.

Developed by UK technology specialist Cambridge Display Technology and Japanese electronics giant Seiko Epson, the display uses light-emitting polymers (LEPs), plastics that behave like semiconductors and can emit the full spectrum of light.

The LEP is simply printed from a liquid solution onto a substrate, which can be glass or plastic. The display consists of two polymers, a conducting layer and a light-emitting layer.

The LEPs are made by CDT and are printed onto the display’s substrate using Seiko Epson’s inkjet technology. The latest prototype achieves a colour quality equal to current LCD technology.

Director of development at CDT Jeremy Burroughes, said: ‘Our research required a “back to the drawing board” approach in order to help overcome incompatibility issues between the LEP polymer inks and the inkjet process.’

The prototype colour display measures 64mm square and has a resolution of 200 by 150 pixels. The initial target markets are mobile computing and mobile telephony. CDT says the next generation of the technology will make possible widescreen TV displays which can be hung on the wall.

The technology is low power, requiring only a 3V supply – far less than LCDs. No backlighting, or polarisers are needed, and the display can be viewed from any angle.

www.cdt.co.uk

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