Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) have completely transformed visual display technology, particularly within portable electronic devices. Because of their improved brightness and low power consumption, the sales volume of these power-saving color displays doubled in 2005 compared with the previous year.
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam are now studying ways to make OLEDs transparent, which will lead to a variety of new applications. While metal oxide coatings in earlier OLEDs made them opaque, researchers are investigating new transparent physical properties, as well as OLED and liquid crystal display hybrids.
Because the new panels will interfere little with visible light or views, future applications include transparent heads-up displays in car windshields and building glazing units. [via the Fraunhofer Institute.]