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'Wonder material' for future LED lights
Thursday August 7, 2014 7:57 AM, IANS

Using a material called perovskite, researchers have developed a new high-brightness LED display that is cheaper and much easier to make.

Perovskite is a general term used to describe a group of materials that have a distinctive crystal structure of cuboid and diamond shapes.

The perovskites used to make the LEDs are known as organometal halide perovskites and contain a mixture of lead, carbon-based ions and halogen ions known as halides.

These materials dissolve well in common solvents and assemble to form perovskite crystals when dried, making them cheap and simple to make.

The perovskite LEDs use a simple process and do not require high temperature heating steps or a high vacuum, like current silicon displays do.

"The big surprise is to find that such simple process methods still produce very clean semi-conductor properties - without the need for complex purification procedures required for traditional semi-conductors," explained research team member Richard Friend of Cambridge University.

The team from Cambridge and Oxford found it remarkable that this material can be easily tuned to emit light in a variety of colours.

"This makes it extremely useful for colour displays, lighting and optical communication applications," added Zhi-Kuang Tan from University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory.

This technology could provide a lot of value to the ever growing flat panel display industry.

The first commercially available LED based on perovskite could be available within five years, said the study published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

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