Polymer LED

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What Does Polymer LED Mean?

A polymer LED is a type of OLED that uses polymers as a semiconducting material to produce very thin LEDs that can be used for many applications such as flexible displays, indoor lighting, and for medical technology applications such as light sources for lab-on-a-chip devices.

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Polymer LEDs are produced by sandwiching electroluminescent polymers between a metal cathode and a transparent anode.

A polymer LED is also known as a PolyLED or a Light-Emitting Polymer (LEP).

Techopedia Explains Polymer LED

Polymer LEDs have the advantage of being easily manufactured compared to traditional inorganic LEDs. An inorganic semiconductor has to be processed within a vacuum, and extreme care must be taken in preparing materials for LEDs for wavelengths in the blue range. On the other hand, polymeric materials are very easy to process as they can be generated at ambient pressure through dip coating, rolling, spin coating and new inkjet fabrication methods that simply allow for printing of the polymer emitters into the substrate.

Despite the distinct advantages of polymer LEDs, this is still a new technology that has many problems to work out, such as durability. For example, there is still color shift, particularly for blue, which degrades faster. The pixels themselves also have to be encapsulated from air to prevent degradation by oxygen, which takes away from their flexibility quite a bit.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.