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New Display Technologies with PLEDs, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

The LED was first developed in 1962 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  LEDs are important to a wide variety of industries, from wireless telephone handsets to signage to displays for medical equipment, because they provide a very high quality of light with very low power requirements.  They also have an extremely long useful life and produce little heat output.  All of these characteristics are great improvements over a conventional incandescent bulb or the LCD (liquid crystal display).
On a groundbreaking day in 1989 at Cambridge University, researchers discovered that organic LEDs (OLEDs) could be manufactured using polymers.  The plastic substance known as PPV (polyphenylenevinylene) emits light when layered between electrodes.  The resulting product is referred to as a PLED (polymer light emitting diode).  Soon, many industries realized the advantages of PLEDs as display devices that emit their own light.  In contrast, the older LCD (liquid crystal display) technology works on a system whereby a separate light source has to be filtered in several stages to create the desired image.  PLED is more direct, more efficient and much higher quality.  It is also an excellent system for the manufacture of extremely thin displays that can work at very low voltage.  The useful life of a PLED can be 40,000 hours.  Advanced displays utilizing PLED can be viewed at angles approaching 180 degrees, and they can produce quality images in flat panels, even at very low temperatures.
Cambridge Display Technology (CDT,, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical Group, points out several exciting uses for these polymer LEDs that may develop over the mid-term.  For example, the low energy requirements of PLEDs could be used to create packaging for consumer or business goods that have a display incorporated into the front of the package.  This display could provide a changing, entertaining and highly informative description of the product to be found within the package.  Since PLEDs can be incorporated into flexible substrates, displays for advertising or information purposes can be built in the shape of curves.  The possibilities are nearly endless.  Most likely, new uses will develop as larger and larger numbers of PLEDs are manufactured and higher volume leads to lower prices.
For example, Canadian technology firm Carmanah Technologies Corp. ( combined LEDs with solar panels for use in marine buoys.  It has expanded further into lighting products for airfields, railways and general outdoor illumination, providing lights that are easy to install as well as powered entirely by renewable solar energy.

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