Scientists from around the globe converged on Kyushu University’s Ito Campus to discuss some of the latest advances in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) at the 2nd International TADF Workshop held July 19–21, 2017. Organized by Kyushu University’s Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics Research (OPERA) and co-sponsored by Kyulux Inc.¹ with support from Fukuoka IST, the workshop featured three days of intensive talks and discussion focusing on recent scientific advances and business trends in the field of thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF),² which was pioneered at OPERA.
Thermally activated delayed fluorescence enables highly efficient conversion of electricity to light without the need for the expensive and restricting metal atoms used in many OLED emitters and immediately drew the attention of the entire OLED community after the first report of practical TADF emitters by Prof. Chihaya Adachi’s research group at OPERA in 2012. The rapid rise of TADF materials, which are already considered the third generation of OLED emitters, was on full display at the workshop with 28 invited speakers representing academia and industry from around the world presenting before a general audience of 200 people. In addition to accelerating the science, application, and commercialization of TADF, the workshop highlighted Fukuoka’s role as a hub for the development of organic electronics, from fundamental research to commercialization, with OPERA at the center.
Furthermore, Taiwanese passive-matrix³ panel maker WiseChip Semiconductor Inc., in collaboration with TADF material maker Kyulux Inc., demonstrated the first TADF OLED display intended for commercialization (release date not yet set) at the workshop. WiseChip plans to move to full color displays after the development of yellow and green ones, marking a major step toward the commercialization of materials invented at Kyushu University. With the future looking bright, OPERA hopes to continue to lead the way for TADF.
¹ Kyulux Inc. is a university spinoff founded in March 2015 to commercialize TADF materials throughout the world by leveraging licenses to the major patents for the technology held by Kyushu University.
² Thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) is a process in organic molecules that can efficiently convert energy into light. Conventional fluorescence produces light only from packets of energy called singlet excitons, but TADF uses heat in the environment to give triplet excitons an energetic boost that is sufficient to convert them into light-emitting singlet excitons. An OLED under operation produces both triplet and singlet excitons, so TADF enables emission from 100% of the electrical charges, with the emission originating from the upconversion of triplets being delayed compared to that from excitons initially created as singlets.
³ Passive matrix is a scheme for operating LCD and OLED displays that involves turning on and off the individual pixels in a grid by sending electrical signals one row at a time without any circuitry to actively maintain the state of a pixel until the next set of signals is sent to its row.
Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics Research
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