In the last two decades, progress has made in the development of organic electroluminescent materials. These fundamental developments in both the physics of charge transport and the chemistry of luminescent materials have led to the successful demonstration of highly efficient organic light emitting devices (OLEDs) and the commercialization of products that incorporate OLED technology. Most of this progress has been fueled both by a basic knowledge of electronic processes in organic materials and an applied interest in developing flat panel displays. If this knowledge can be directed to the continued improvement of OLED technology, the field has the potential to impact general lighting applications. In particular, a large area white-light emitting OLED could potentially provide a solid state diffuse light source that could compete with conventional lighting technologies in performance and cost. If OLED technology can be successfully transitioned to lighting applications the possible impact is enormous, and could result in substantial reductions in global energy use and carbon emissions.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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