Researchers from China, Singapore and the US has created new inorganic-LED based displays, that are brighter and more versatile than OLEDs, and can also be made flexible and transparent.
The team first created what they call a "sacrificial layer" in the manufacturing process. It's a weak adhesive that holds the LEDs in place while they form, but then it's partially dissolved away by an etching liquid. Next, a rubber stamping device presses down on and grabs hold of a bunch of the crystals. The stamping device picks up the LEDs and deposits them onto flexible sheets of glass, plastic, or rubber, where they are integrated with the conductors and insulators that will allow the lighting array to function. The result is a thin, flexible array that's much brighter than conventional OLED arrays.
Rogers says the material for the inorganic LED arrays, square centimeter by square centimeter, is still more expensive than its organic LED counterparts. But because the inorganic diodes are so much brighter, far fewer are needed to create a display of equivalent brightness--and therefore the cost of the inorganic LED arrays is comparable.