This patent application is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Light emitting devices, such as organic or inorganic electroluminescent devices, are useful in a variety of display, lighting, and other applications. Generally, these light emitting devices include one or more device layers, including at least one light emitting layer, disposed between two electrodes (an anode and a cathode). A voltage drop or current is provided between the two electrodes and charge is injected into the device. The charge recombines within the emission layer and excites a lumophore, which can be organic or inorganic, and which emits light. Typically, one or both of the electrodes is transparent so that light can be transmitted through the electrode to a viewer or other light receiver.
"An electroluminescent device may be constructed such that it is either a top emitting device or a bottom emitting device. In a top emitting electroluminescent device, the light emitting layer or layers are positioned between the substrate and a viewer. In a bottom emitting electroluminescent device, a transparent or semitransparent substrate is positioned between the light emitting layer or layers and the viewer.
"In a typical color electroluminescent display, one or more electroluminescent devices can be formed on a single substrate and arranged in groups or arrays. Several approaches exist for producing a color electroluminescent display. For example, one approach includes an array having red, green, and blue electroluminescent device subpixels placed next to each other. Another approach, for example, utilizes a white pixelated display in conjunction with red, green, and blue color filters."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present disclosure provides methods of making electroluminescent devices that include optical spacers in optical association with an electroluminescent element. In particular, the present disclosure provides techniques that include selective thermal transfer (e.g., Laser Induced Thermal Imaging (LITI)) of optical spacers for use with electroluminescent devices.
"Patterning of red-, green-, and blue-emitting primary organic light emitting diode (OLED) materials for full color devices has proven to be difficult. Many techniques have been described for such patterning, including laser thermal patterning, ink jet patterning, shadow mask patterning, and photolithographic patterning.
"Alternative techniques of providing a full color display without patterning the emitting materials include the use of color filters as described herein. However, the use of these alternative techniques with the traditional bottom emitting electroluminescent device construction is limited by physical and optical factors. For practical reasons, the color filters must be patterned either on a separate piece of glass or on the substrate. In this case, the effect of the distance between the light emitting layer and the color filter leads to parallax problems. In other words, Lambertian emission from the electroluminescent device allows the light to reach the corresponding color filter as well as a number of adjacent color filters. As a result, the color saturation level of the electroluminescent display is reduced.
"On the other hand, top emitting electroluminescent devices may allow for more complex pixel control circuitry as well as more flexibility in the choice of semiconductor and substrate. In a typical top emitting device, the electroluminescent device layers can be deposited onto a substrate, followed by the formation of a thin, transparent metal electrode, and a protective layer.
"To increase the color saturation of an OLED, it is possible to create an optical cavity that is tuned to pass light to match the light passed by a color filter (e.g.,
"In some embodiments, the present disclosure provides selective thermal transfer (e.g.,
"Further, selective thermal transfer patterning (e.g.,
"In one aspect, the present disclosure provides a method of making an electroluminescent device. In one embodiment, the method includes: forming an electroluminescent element on a substrate; and selectively thermally transferring an optical spacer to the electroluminescent element to form at least a portion of an optical cavity. In another embodiment, the method includes: forming an electroluminescent element on a substrate; forming a protective layer over at least a portion of the electroluminescent element; and selectively thermally transferring an optical spacer to the protective layer to form at least a portion of an optical cavity.
"In another aspect, the present disclosure provides a method of making an electroluminescent color display including at least one electroluminescent device. The method includes: forming the at least one electroluminescent device on a substrate, wherein forming the at least one electroluminescent device includes: forming an electroluminescent element on the substrate; and selectively thermally transferring an optical spacer to the electroluminescent element to form at least a portion of an optical cavity.
"In another aspect, the present disclosure provides an electroluminescent device. The device includes: a substrate; an electroluminescent element on the substrate; and a plurality of optical spacers on the substrate, wherein at least one optical spacer of the plurality of optical spacers forms at least a portion of an optical cavity.
"As used herein, 'a,' 'an,' 'the,' 'at least one,' and 'one or more' are used interchangeably.
"The above summary of the present invention is not intended to describe each disclosed embodiment or every implementation of the present invention. The Figures and the detailed description that follow more particularly exemplify illustrative embodiments.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of one embodiment of a top emitting electroluminescent device that includes optical cavities having different thicknesses.
"FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of one embodiment of a top emitting electroluminescent device that includes optical spacers formed on an electroluminescent element.
"FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of another embodiment of a top emitting electroluminescent device that includes optical spacers formed on an electroluminescent element.
"FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of another embodiment of a top emitting electroluminescent device that includes optical spacers formed on a protective layer.
"FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of another embodiment of a top emitting electroluminescent device that includes optical spacers formed on an electroluminescent element in apertures of a black matrix."
URL and more information on this patent application, see: Wolk, Martin B.; Brott,
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