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Bright Lights, Little Battery

Organic light-emitting diodes have been touted as a brighter and less power-hungry alternative to the standard liquid-crystal displays found in cell phones and other devices. Novaled, a startup in Dresden, Germany, aims to make OLEDs even more attractive by doubling their energy efficiency. The Novaled researchers infuse the outer, organic, layers of the multilayer diode with small amounts of another organic material, in much the way that chip makers “dope” semiconductors. The added molecules boost the layers’ electrical conductivity and thus reduce the amount of power the diode loses as heat. The company has already made a more energy-efficient green OLED, says CEO Gildas Sorin. It is close to doubling the efficiency of the red and blue OLEDs that would also be required for a full-color display, he adds. Novaled expects the first display containing its materials to hit the market by early 2006.

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