Stanford researchers and their Korean collaborators have developed displays for TVs, smartphones and virtual reality devices with resolutions up to 10,000 pixels per inch. In comparison, new smartphones have a resolution of 400 to 500 pixels per inch.
Such displays with a high pixel density will be able to reproduce images with more realistic detail. More importantly, they can be placed just a few inches from our faces.
We took advantage of the fact that at the nanoscale, light can flow around objects such as water. The field of nanoscale photonics continues to present new surprises. Our designs have worked really well with solar cells and now we have a chance to change to next-generation displays.
professor of materials science and engineering and senior article author
In addition to record pixel densities, the new “metaphoton” OLED displays will be brighter and more color-accurate than existing versions. They will also be much easier and more economical to produce.
OLED is based on organic light-emitting materials. They are sandwiched between highly reflective and translucent electrodes that inject current into the device. When electricity is passed through an OLED, the emitters emit red, green, or blue light. Every pixel on an OLED display is made up of smaller subpixels that produce these primary colors. When the resolution is high enough, pixels are perceived by the human eye as a single color. The new technology is qualitatively different from those that were invented earlier.
The new study aims to offer an alternative to two types of OLED displays currently commercially available.