University of Washington scientists have built the thinnest-known LED, 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair, that can be used as a source of light energy in electronics.
The LED is based on two-dimensional, flexible semiconductors, making it possible to stack or use in much smaller and more diverse applications than current technology allows.
Most modern electronics, from flat-screen TVs and smartphones to wearable technologies and computer monitors, use tiny light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.
Xiaodong Xu, a UW assistant professor in materials science and engineering and in physics, said:
“We are able to make the thinnest-possible LEDs, only three atoms thick yet mechanically strong. Such thin and foldable LEDs are critical for future portable and integrated electronic devices.
These are 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair, yet the light they emit can be seen by standard measurement equipment. This is a huge leap of miniaturization of technology, and because it’s a semiconductor, you can do almost everything with it that is possible with existing, three-dimensional silicon technologies.”
In this video, UW researchers demonstrate a technique to isolate a single layer of the material graphene. This simple technique, commonly used by scientists worldwide, can isolate monolayers of many materials.
source University of Washington