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Roger Partridge made the first observation of electroluminescence from polymer films at the National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom.
The device consisted of a film of poly(N-vinylcarbazole) up to 2.2 micrometers thick located between two charge injecting electrodes.
An organic light-emitting diode (OLED) is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound that emits light in response to an electric current.
This layer of organic semiconductor is situated between two electrodes; typically, at least one of these electrodes is transparent.
An OLED display works without a backlight; thus, it can display deep black levels and can be thinner and lighter than a liquid crystal display (LCD).
In low ambient light conditions (such as a dark room), an OLED screen can achieve a higher contrast ratio than an LCD, regardless of whether the LCD uses cold cathode fluorescent lamps or an LED backlight.
There are two main families of OLED: those based on small molecules and those employing polymers.
This latter process may also be described as the injection of electron holes into the HOMO.
One example was the first light-emitting device synthesised by J. Burroughes et al., which involved a single layer of poly(p-phenylene vinylene).