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Lighting a Path to the Commercialization of Micro LEDs

Credit: The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Researchers from KAIST have created vital source technology that will help further the commercialization of micro LEDs. This low-cost production technology creates thin-film blue flexible vertical micro LEDs.

Micro LED TV has recently been presented as a powerful candidate for future displays. In fact, experts believe that the micro LED TV could replace active-matrix organic light-emitting diodes as a popular display option. Micro LED provides a sub-100 UM light source for red, blue, and green light. The micro LED display has distinct advantages over its predecessors, namely ultra-low power consumption, fast response times, and superior optical output.

While LED pixels are extremely versatile, there are certain factors that have made it hard to commercialize them. The display industry utilizes the chip transfer of millions of individual LED pixels, which results in high production costs. This dramatically reduces the potential market for micro LED TV. Researchers then began to devise a new method for using LEDs that was far more cost-effective.

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In order to commercialize micro LEDs, a number of factors must come into play. The transfer method of thin film micro LEDs demands a one-time transfer of a million LEDs. These thin-film blue micro LEDs are essential for a full-color display. The team had previously worked on creating thin-film red f-VLED, and relied on this prior experience to transfer thousands of thin-film blue vertical micro LEDs on plastics.

The results of this work are blue GaN f-VLEDs that achieve optical power density up to three times higher than lateral micro LEDs. Additionally, the device lifetime has been extended to 100,000 hours by reducing the generation of heat. These f-VLEDs could be included in flexible wearable devices and operated by wirelessly transferred electrical energy.

“For future micro LEDs, the innovative technology of thin-film transfer, efficient devices, and interconnection is necessary. We plan to demonstrate a full-color micro LED display in smart watch sizes by the end of this year. ”

Professor Keon Jae Lee from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Further testing and research are required, but researchers are certain that these innovations will help to further the commercialization of LED micro TVs as well as a host of other LED applications.

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