An organic light-emitting diode (OLED or organic LED), also known as organic electroluminescent (organic EL) diode, 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 organic layer is situated between two electrodes; typically, at least one of these electrodes is transparent. OLEDs are used to create digital displays in devices such as television screens, computer monitors, portable systems such as smartphones, handheld game consoles and PDAs. A major area of research is the development of white OLED devices for use in solid-state lighting applications.
There are two main families of OLED: those based on small molecules and those employing
polymers. Adding mobile ions to an OLED creates a light-emitting electrochemical cell (LEC) which has a slightly different mode of operation. An OLED display can be driven with a passive-matrix (PMOLED) or active-matrix (AMOLED) control scheme. In the PMOLED scheme, each row (and line) in the display is controlled sequentially, one by one, whereas AMOLED control uses a thin-film transistor backplane to directly access and switch each individual pixel on or off, allowing for higher resolution and larger display sizes.
Although its name looks similar, the OLED is fundamentally different from its cousin the LED used for general lighting and for which the Nobel Prize was awarded in 2014. The LED is based on a p-n diode structure. In a LED, doping is used to create p- and n- regions by changing the conductivity of the host semiconductor. The OLED is not a p-n structure. Doping of OLEDs is used to increase radiative efficiency by direct modification of the quantum-mechanical optical recombination rate. Doping is additionally used to determine the wavelength of photon emission. OLED doping is discussed further on in this article.