Japanese scientists have created a new method for making OLED sheets which could see the cost drop as low as "printing newspapers."
According to OLED-Info.com - via Engadget - the technique developed at the RIKEN Centre in Japan uses an electrospray system to deposit the OLED on to the substrate. This produces devices with crisper graphics than those created using the spin-coating method.
While electrospray depositing systems have been developed before, the smoothness of the coating - and thus the quality of the display - has left a lot to be desired. Yutaka Yamagata believes he has solved this issue using an innovative mix of two different solvents. OLED devices created using Yamagata's technique have, in tests, activated at lower voltages and supported higher current densities than those created using the traditional spin-coating technique.
Yamagata believes that with work, his technique could be refined enough to manufacture OLED devices "as inexpensive[ly] as printing newspapers," meaning that the days of traditional dead-tree media could soon be numbered.
It'll be a while, of course, before the technology sees a commercial application: with OLED technology still very much in its infancy, there's certainly room for improvement in terms of display size and overall cost. Whether the costs would ever actually approach that of printed newspaper - and whether that would lead to broadsheets filled with annoying animated adverts - remains to be seen.