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Dual-Function Nanorod LEDs Could Make Multifunctional Displays


A laser stylus writes on a small array of multifunction pixels made by dual-function LEDs.

New light-emitting diode arrays developed by a collaborative research effort between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Dow Electronic Materials can both emit and detect light.

Credit: Moonsub Shim

New light-emitting diode (LED) arrays developed by a collaborative research effort between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Dow Electronic Materials can both emit and detect light.

The LEDs are made of nanorods containing three types of semiconductor material. One type emits and absorbs light, while the other two control how charge flows through the first material. The nanorods quickly switch back and forth from emitting to detecting, appearing to stay on continuously to the human eye.

A display made of the LEDs can be programmed to respond to light in a variety of ways, such as automatically adjusting brightness on a tablet pixel-by-pixel in response to light conditions. In addition, the LEDs can convert light into electricity and charge themselves using ambient light without the need for separate solar cells.

The researchers believe the design could be the basis for self-adjusting smartphones and other electronic devices.

From Illinois News Bureau
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