June 15, 2009

Molecular pair promises cheap white LEDs

Attach the right blue molecule to the right orange molecule and you have the key ingredient for inexpensive white light-emitting devices.

Separately, one molecule emits blue light and the other molecule emits orange light. Together they emit white light because blue and orange are complementary colors. Previous attempts to mate complementary color molecules have run into trouble because some energy moves from the higher energy blue molecule to the lower energy orange molecule, which throws off the color balance.

The two molecules are a special type that cycle energy within themselves in a way that causes a mismatch between the molecules that blocks energy from passing between them.

The molecular pair was used to make a prototype white organic light-emitting device. White light emitting devices use less energy and are more natural looking than compact fluorescent light bulbs, but they're more expensive. The blue-orange molecular pair promises to lower the cost of white LEDs.

Research paper:
A White-Light-Emitting Molecule: Frustrated Energy Transfer between Constituent Emitting Centers
Journal of the American Chemical Society, published online May 29, 2009

Researchers' contact:
Soo Young Park

Related stories and briefs:
Cheaper white LEDs on deck -- related research

Back to ERN June 15, 2009



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