Scientists discovered a new eco-friendly light-emitting electrochemical cell


Article by: Harper Mason, on 09 July 2023, at 09:20 am PDT

Scientists from Japan and Germany have made significant advances in lighting technology. They created environmentally friendly light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs) by combining novel compounds known as dendrimers, biomass-derived electrolytes, and graphene-based electrodes. This intriguing finding, which was published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, has the potential to transform lighting.

Electroluminescence, which occurs when a substance generates light in response to an electric current, is important in many modern technologies, ranging from computer displays to powerful lasers used in scientific research. It is critical to enhance this technology, and one potential development is the creation of light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs).

LECs have gained popularity over organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) due to their lower cost and simpler construction. While OLEDs require numerous layers of organic films to be carefully layered, LECs may be manufactured using a single sheet of organic film blended with light-emitting components and an electrolyte. The best aspect is that the electrodes that link everything may be constructed of cheap materials, as opposed to OLEDs, which frequently employ rare or heavy metals. LECs use less energy as well since they run at lower voltages.

Dendrimers, which are unique branching polymeric molecules, have been investigated as organic materials for LECs by the research teams. These dendrimers have fascinating uses in domains such as medicine and sensing, and scientists are now investigating their potential in optics.

The scientists realized considerable gains by altering their materials for LECs. They substituted hydrophobic chemical groups with hydrophilic ones, which increased the device's lifespan by more than tenfold to over 1000 hours. Furthermore, they concentrated on making the LEC device ecologically friendly by employing cellulose acetate as the electrolyte, a common organic substance generated from biomass. They also discovered that graphene, an extraordinary substance, may be utilised as an electrode. These developments pave the path for flexible light-emitting devices constructed from environmentally friendly materials.

While additional study is needed before these gadgets may be commercialized, the findings are encouraging. The existing gadgets produce yellow light, but the objective is to provide lighting in the three fundamental colors of blue, green, and red.

The brightness of the light also needs improvement. Nonetheless, the international collaboration between the research teams brings hope for the future of lighting technology.

Be the first to read what's new in science!