Light Emitting Diodes (LED) offer significant energy savings and increased longevity over fluorescent and incandescent lights. Now LED lights may revolutionalize home lighting again. New advancements in Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology will allow residential and comercial lighting to move away from a single small point source such as a light bulb or tube, to a much broader source such as wall paper, panels and windows. Even more amazing is that these surfaces do not need to be flat. Advancements in OLDE tech will allow lighting to be stretched, bent, or wrapped around spaces, completely changing the design considerations of a building or structure.
Organic LED technology replaces metallic materials with organic (containing carbon in their chemical structure) phosphorescent materials. Most OLED technology uses pentacene (C22H14) to produce blue light, useful in display screens, but not as useful in lighting. Researchers at University of New Hampshire have been able to stabilize a novel molecule called nonacene (C38H22), similar in composition, but larger than pentacene. Nonacene is revolutionary because it creates a bright white light, matching the light output closer to that of incandescent bulbs.
The beauty of the OLEDs is that they are produced via plasma deposition methods onto cheap substrates, and they do not require any back lighting to make them glow. Advancements in fabrication and manufacturing technology for OLED should lead to screens and lighting applied to a number of different substrates through a process analogous to inkjet printing. Once scalable, lighting and screens may be integrated seamlessly onto the same surface, potentially on-site, allowing for complete customization of lighting and display technology. Imagine hanging pictures on the wall without actually having to print, frame, and physicaly hang them, or turning off your television and having it gradually blend into the wall.
Unknown, Life-cycle analysis is pending from the Miller group.