LED displays are everywhere, and it’s time that they made a major technological leap forward. Image Source: Flickr User Bosc D’Anjou

Researchers may have new ways to improve LED screens by creating a new bilayer material out of atomically thin layers of flexible, stretchable and compressible materials. This innovation promises to catapult technology forward with more flexible options for a number of electronic devices and perhaps reducing overall size.1 To get to this point, researchers need to run a veritable battery of tests, both in silico and in situ, to ensure that they are accounting for potential factors from basic chemical structure to everyday use. Comprehensive lab software can assist researchers in storing accrued data and analyzing the results, to ensure maximum “wow” for their R&D dollars.

Igniting Growth

In the last few years, sales in consumer electronics has dropped. Many consumers (~45%) are satisfied with their TV, laptop, tablet or smartphone and the demand for the next generation innovations in technology hasn’t grown fast enough to compensate for the losses in the traditional consumer technology areas. There are a number of major concerns that consumers have:

  • Ongoing Issues with Purchased Tech. People are unhappy with a few things, but especially that the technology is too complicated to use. This may be attributed to either interface or hardware. On the other hand, they are worried that their device won’t work as advertised, which may include anything from performance of an LED screen or flexibility of the item to reliability.
  • Lack of Value Perception. Generally, lack of perceived value sparks concerns over the price of an item. Why would someone pay top dollar for an item that doesn’t “wow” them and appears to be of poor value or construction?2 Many won’t, and with the average incomes of most households, it just isn’t feasible to dish out for an item that falls short of spectacular.

There is a lot of room for growth in both of these areas, and a lot of that growth can be made in the realm of LED screen technologies. Common complaints related to the first point above, may relate to poor battery life (which can be attributed in part to display use, both touch and view) or overall look and feel of the images being displayed. LEDs have been making incremental steps forward ever since the first touch screen devices came onto the market for consumers, but it’s been quite some time since a major leap forward occurred. That said, technological advances are occurring that can be directly applied to these issues. By adequately assessing current technology and working with emerging innovation, researchers can use innovative lab software to really hone in on consumer concerns.

Nanoscale Innovations

Chemical research has become more comprehensive as researchers have had better capacity to track, manage and handle it. By mining through your own data with a comprehensive lab software, you’ll be able to better track and investigate observed properties of chemicals used in your lab far better than via paper notebooks. In the case of the bilayer material being investigated above, researchers were able to take note of the properties of both molybdenum disulfide and rhenium disulfide; they both absorb light, are semiconductors and are very flexible, making them ideal for day-to-day devices for the consumer.

The researchers then employed an intriguing technique borrowed from graphene: the Scotch tape method. This is a strange technique pioneered by the scientists who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 2010. In this case, the researchers used a piece of tape to create the LED bilayer. The samples were subjected to ultrafast layers so that the investigators could observe the motion of elections and “seats”, the pockets in which electrons can reside to emit light, between the atomic layers.

Quickly, it became obvious that the movement of electrons could be between the two layers, but not along another plane. This shows the material’s capacity of light emission rather than light dispersion, and may have implications for higher efficiency in LED screens. This method of better “seating” may mean that less energy is needed overall to run an LED screen and has the potential to sharpen images in the process.

This final experiment confirmed previous calculations and analyses performed by the group. Next to be confirmed is their prediction surrounding the length to which the bilayer’s optical properties can be stretched. Researchers will just need to work with an innovative piece of lab software to ensure they have a solid foundation as they build upwards.

BIOVIA Electronic Laboratory Notebooks can assist researchers in reducing time spent looking for data by 50%, reduce repeat experiments by 25% and improve productivity by 25% while removing all non-value added manual activities and errors. In your pursuit for new technological innovations, the clues may be deep within your own data; let BIOVIA alleviate those concerns by housing it all in one space so that it can be more cohesively searched and applied to future experiments. Please contact us today to learn more about how our software options can support the efforts of your lab.

  1. Type-I van der Waals heterostructure formed by MoS2 and ReS2 monolayers,” September 23, 2016, http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2017/NH/C6NH00144K#!divAbstract
  2. “The consumer electronics market in 2017 and beyond,” https://www.i-scoop.eu/consumer-electronics-market/