(pronounced or-GAN-ik el-ee-DEE)
Talk about wave of the future. OLEDs – otherwise known as organic light emitting diodes – are positively space age. The technological advances are happening so fast on this stuff that you better read the Science and Technology section of the paper everyday. So how do they work” By spreading a thin layer of organic compound on a surface of plastic or glass and applying an electric current, so that Voila! – you’ve got yourself a light source. And the applications are endless. Right now you’ll mainly see them produce bright, clear images on video screens and other displays, but more applications like printing them on flexible tubes and sheets (think wallpaper) and weaving them onto clothing and other textiles are on their way to becoming the stuff of mass availability. The extra bonus is that they are even more energy efficient than the old standby, fluorescents. Right now most are around 15 lumens per watt (lm/W), but researchers are looking to achieve 100+ lm/W in a product that can maintain its brightness over a long period of time so that it is even more sustainable. Yee-haw!
See also: LED