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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT
A closer view of a nano-thick organic light-emitting device
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A closer view of a nano-thick, organic light-emitting device deposited on plastic foil.

June 2, 2010
A closer view of a nano-thick, organic light-emitting device deposited on plastic foil. It was patterned as a map using electrode conductivity modification and a desktop inkjet printer. [One of 14 related images. See Next Image.]

More about this Image Once the target of solely experimental research, the electronic and photonic components that are crafted from organic chemicals now drive major markets. Uses for the scalable, light weight technologies range from the billion dollar photo-conductive film industry to the growing market for solid-state lighting, such as LEDs (light-emitting diodes).

Organic electronics and photonics applications that are still in development may have an even broader impact, serving as flexible electronics, biologically-compatible devices, solid-state lighting and chemical sensors, as well as devices yet to be conceived.

In January 2003, the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored a workshop in which experts from industry and universities came together to discuss the future of the field. Some of the highlights discussed by participants were new developments, changing directions in research and the needs facing investigators as they train the next generation of engineers.