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Atomically Thin Light-Emitting Device Opens the Possibility for 'Invisible' Displays

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Probes inject positive and negative charges in the light-emitting device, producing bright light

University of California, Berkeley scientists have built a millimeters-wide bright light-emitting device that is transparent when deactivated.

Credit: Javey Lab

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) have built a millimeters-wide bright light-emitting device (LED) that is fully transparent when deactivated.

The light-emitting material is a three-atom-thick monolayer semiconductor, and the team laid it on an insulator and placed electrodes on the monolayer and under the insulator to apply an AC signal across the insulator. As the current switches its polarity from positive to negative and back again, both positive and negative charges manifest simultaneously in the semiconductor, generating light.

The researchers have demonstrated this mechanism operates in four different monolayer materials, each of which emit different colors of light.

"A lot of work remains to be done and a number of challenges need to be overcome to further advance the technology for practical applications," says UC Berkeley professor Ali Javey. "However, this is one step forward by presenting a device architecture for easy injection of both charges into monolayer semiconductors."

From Berkeley News
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