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Low-cost production of f-VLEDs could speed adoption

02 Jul 2018

Image: High-performance and high-density blue f-VLED arrays. (Image KAIST)


A low-cost production technology for thin-film blue flexible vertical micro LEDs (f-VLEDs) could help advance the commercialisation of micro LEDs in flexible displays and for bilateral visual communication in the Internet of Things.

A research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a source technology that enables production of thousands of thin-film blue vertical micro LEDs, each less than 2 μm thick, on plastics, using a one-time transfer. The team demonstrated high-performance GaN f-VLEDs using silver nanowire networks and monolithic fabrication.

The blue GaN f-VLEDs achieved an optical power density of about 30 mW/mm2 - three times higher than that of lateral micro LEDs. By reducing heat generation, researchers realised a device lifetime of 100,000 hours. Good thermal and mechanical stability was demonstrated through 100,000 bending-unbending cycles.

To widely commercialise micro LEDs for mobile and TV displays, a one-time transfer method for hundreds of thousands of highly efficient thin-film micro LEDs will be required.

"For future micro LEDs, the innovative technology of thin-film transfer, efficient devices, and interconnection is necessary," said professor Keon Jae Lee at KAIST. "We plan to demonstrate a full-colour micro LED display in smart-watch sizes by the end of this year."

Micro LEDs (µLEDs), a sub-100-µm light source for red, green, and blue light, have good optical output, ultralow power consumption, and fast response speed, and they are flexible, making them potential candidates for replacing active matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays.

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