Metasurface-driven OLED displays beyond 10,000 pixels per inch

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Science  23 Oct 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6515, pp. 459-463
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc8530

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Metasurface-based microdisplays

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) have found wide application in high-resolution, large-area televisions and the handheld displays of smartphones and tablets. With the screen located some distance from the eye, the typical number of pixels per inch is in the region of hundreds. For near-eye microdisplays—for example, in virtual and augmented reality applications—the required pixel density runs to several thousand pixels per inch and cannot be met by present display technologies. Joo et al. developed a full-color, high-brightness OLED design based on an engineered metasurface as a tunable back-reflector. An ultrahigh density of 10,000 pixels per inch readily meets the requirements for the next-generation microdisplays that can be fabricated on glasses or contact lenses.

Science, this issue p. 459


Optical metasurfaces are starting to find their way into integrated devices, where they can enhance and control the emission, modulation, dynamic shaping, and detection of light waves. In this study, we show that the architecture of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays can be completely reenvisioned through the introduction of nanopatterned metasurface mirrors. In the resulting meta-OLED displays, different metasurface patterns define red, green, and blue pixels and ensure optimized extraction of these colors from organic, white light emitters. This new architecture facilitates the creation of devices at the ultrahigh pixel densities (>10,000 pixels per inch) required in emerging display applications (for instance, augmented reality) that use scalable nanoimprint lithography. The fabricated pixels also offer twice the luminescence efficiency and superior color purity relative to standard color-filtered white OLEDs.

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