Ford’s quest for contour-hugging brake lights has led to a major breakthrough in the development of flexible LEDs. A group of international scientists has developed a new process for manufacturing ultrathin, flexible LEDs. The inorganic LEDs developed using this technique are not only slender and flexible like their organic counterparts, but just as durable and bright as inorganic LEDs are expected to be. Ford, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy jointly provided funds for this project.
The team behind this project consists of researchers from institutions in the US, Singapore and China. The new LEDs, though fully inorganic, possess qualities associated with both organic and inorganic LEDs. "We wanted to see if we could use inorganic LEDs in ways that exploit some of the processing advantages of organic LEDs,” John Rogers, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois, told the journal Science.
LEDs can be made to be almost transparent using the new technique in which LEDs are placed at a considerable distance from each other. The technique can be used to make figure-hugging LEDs to be fitted onto buses. It could also make it possible to weave optical electronics into textiles.
Image Credit: Science