Micro-LEDs are one step closer to commercialization thanks to research from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The team developed technology for low-cost production of thin-film vertical micro-LEDs (f-VLEDs).
In recent display news, a Samsung micro-LED modular TV was featured at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The 146-inch display spanned an entire wall, boasting improved optical output, flexibility, response speed, and ultra-low power consumption.
However, since the industry uses the individual chip transfer of millions of LED pixels, the production cost is high. To drive this tech toward commercialization, a thin-film micro-LED transfer method would have to perform a one-time transfer of one million LEDs. In addition, thin-film blue micro-LEDs are crucial to obtain a full color display.
Now, KAIST researchers have successfully realized a one-time transfer of thousands of f-VLEDs on plastics.
In the experiment, the blue GaN f-VLEDs reduced its heat generation enough to post a device lifetime of 100,000 hours. They also achieved an optical power density of ~30 mW/mm2, which is three times higher than lateral micro-LEDs.
According to Professor Keon Jae Lee from the KAIST Department of Materials Science and Engineering, “For future micro-LEDs, the innovative technology of thin-film transfer, efficient devices, and interconnection is necessary. We plan to demonstrate a full color micro-LED display in smartwatch sizes by the end of this year.”
Echoing Professor Lee’s sentiments, the new tech could potentially be used for wearable devices, since they can curve to fit the skin and brain. They can also be electrically powered by a wireless transfer of energy.
To learn more, read “Monolithic Flexible Vertical GaN Light-Emitting Diodes for a Transparent Wireless Brain Optical Stimulator,” published in Advanced Materials.
You can view the f-VLED array in the image below.