Bright spark creates powerful new light devices

Monday 20 May 2002

A University of St Andrews scientist is the bright spark behind some of the world’s most efficient new lighting devices.

Professor Ifor Samuel, based in the School of Physics and Astronomy, together with Dr Paul Burn and Dr Oleg Salata at the University of Oxford and Opsys Limited, have developed a new flexible, low-cost material which emits light when electricity is passed through it.

The substance (classed as an organic semiconductor) consists of snowflake-shaped molecules called dendrimers. It can be used in a variety of display applications from mobile phone displays to food packaging and is being commercialised by Oxford based Opsys Limited to transform information displays. The results and the material will be revealed at a conference in Boston later this week.

During tests, the organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) using the new dendrimer proved the most efficient ever recorded in the world for a device manufactured in a similar way. In the future it may be possible to use the material in light emitting wallpaper in a variety of colours as an alternative to traditional overhead lighting. The material could potentially be applied to clothing in everything from school uniforms to sports gear. There is also enormous potential for the electronics industry with applications such as digital cameras, camcorders, and other consumer products.

Dendrimers have the potential to make long-term improvements in colour quality, power efficiency, lifetime and processing costs of displays. These are vital for OLEDs to fulfil their potential for growth within the displays sector and to develop new markets in lighting, décor and signage applications.

The results will be announced by Professor Ifor Samuel, a Royal Society Research Fellow working in the University’s SHEFC funded Organic Semiconductor Centre, at the Society for Information Display 2002 conference in Boston on Wednesday 22 May. They will also be published in a paper entitled “A Green Phosphorescent Dendrimer for Light-emitting Diodes” in Advanced Materials, on 4 July 2002.

The news coincides with an exhibition of Professor Samuel’s dendrimers at the Lighthouse Gallery in Glasgow. For more information, please phone 0141 221 6395 or click on www.



Emailable pictures available from Claire Grainger, Press Officer, University of St Andrews press office – contact details below.

For more information on the St Andrews research, please call Dr Phillip Wood, Coordinator of the Organic Semiconductor Centre on 01344 463036.

Further information from Opsys available from Micheal Oakes/Liz Bastone on 020 7261 0953 or email [email protected] or [email protected] or via website


Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email [email protected] Ref: opsys/standrews/chg/21may2002

Category Research

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