Researchers at USC Dornsife have discovered a cheaper way to produce OELD screens. The new method uses copper instead of iridium to showcase light and colors on OLED screens.
Currently, several high-end smart appliances like TVs, phones use OLED screens. During the testing, the new copper inclusion did not affect the quality of visualization.
According to Mark E. Thompson, a chemist at USC, iridium compounds were extremely efficient at light emission. However, iridium compounds are extremely rare in nature. Mark said this research solved one of the biggest challenges – finding an alternative abundant resource.
Iridium also generates weaker molecules, which results in producing blue light. Blue is an important color for OLED screen visualizations. However, the blue color requires more electricity than other colored molecules.
Copper was considered as a raw material for OLED screens, previously. However, copper complexes tried earlier turned out to be weaker and ineffective.
Iridium and dinosaurs
This research also brings an interesting fact to life. Iridium is a rare metal, only found in South Africa and parts of Asia. According to experts, Iridium was brought on earth by the same meteor which wiped out the dinosaurs millions of years ago.
So, unless a similar meteor hits the earth (and all of us survive!), iridium is unlikely to be replaced. On the other hand, OLED screens are growing in demand. Major companies like Samsung and Apple use them to promise an extraordinary visual experience.
This research seems to promise a win-win situation for consumers and manufacturers as well.