New LEDs promise to make displays five times clearer

LED screens are generally considered to be the next step up from LCD, the future of the displays across the board. Now a new advancement in LED technology means we might be able to get screens that are clearer, more efficient, and cheaper to produce.

The man behind the discovery, Professor Stephen Chou is known for having found a way to increase the efficiency of solar cells by 175 per cent. He’s now applied the same principles to LEDs, and has found that he can make LEDs that are five times as clear, and last longer than ever before.

He said this in a recent press release:

“From a view point of physics, a good light absorber, which we had for the solar cells, should also be a good light radiator. We wanted to experimentally demonstrate this is true in visible light range, and then use it to solve the key challenges in LEDs and displays.”

Conventional LEDs are far more efficient that any other light source we can make, but they still suffer from the fact that they only emit two to four per cent of the light they produce, the rest gets trapped within the casing. Chou’s new design changes that by using a plasmonic cavity with subwavelength hole-array (PlaCSH) to direct the light and focus it where it’s supposed to go. If you didn’t understand that, it’s basically a wire mesh made from wire that is 15 nanometres across.

With less trapped light, less heat is generated, and the LED’s lifespan is increased. Plus, considering that this method is relatively cheap it’s likely to be adopted fairly quickly, meaning we might see this new technology in our phones in just a few years.

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Tom Pritchard