Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Rogers says the method should be cheaper than conventional methods for printing inorganic LEDs because it requires less of the expensive semiconducting materials. Using the chemical etching and stamping techniques, it’s possible to make each individual LED smaller. “The materials cost is a significant component of the final cost, so you have to use the minimum amount,” says Rogers. LEDs made using conventional sawing techniques range are about a half a millimeter per side. But because they’re bright, these LEDs can be much smaller and still provide the same display resolution. “To light a 100-micrometer pixel, you only need a 5-micrometer LED because to your eye, it looks the same,” says Rogers.

The researchers have so far demonstrated the printing process for red LEDs made from gallium arsenide. Rogers says that the same approach can be used to make other colors of LEDs using different materials. “Conceptually it’s the same process,” he says. Rogers says he has also used the method to make blue LEDs using nitrides, though this work has not yet been published.

“These are conventional LEDs made by an unconventional process,” says Colaneri. If Rogers and his coworkers can “demonstrate that this dramatically reduces the cost,” he says, then “this is a potential competitor with OLEDs, though it’s far from proven.”

Rogers says the university is in talks with recently formed Canadian start-up Cool Edge to license the printing method and expects the first applications to be in lighting. Existing LED lightbulbs cost $30 to $100 for a single fixture, says Steven DenBaars, professor of materials science and co-director of the Solid-State Lighting Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “We’ve got to reduce the costs,” he says.

1 comment. Share your thoughts »

Credit: Science/AAAS

Tagged: Computing, Materials, displays, light, LED, printing, lighting, stretchable electronics

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me