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TUMCS | PM | 20.08.2020

Prof Rubén Costa, head of the chair Biogenic Functional Materials at TUM Campus Straubing, is editor of the special issue in Advanced Functional Materials to celebrate the 25th year of the LEC technology. He has written an editorial:

In 1995, Prof. Pei (UCLA, USA) discovered the light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs) that have become the simplest and low-cost thin-film lighting technology up to date. This consists of a single ionic based active layer sandwiched between two air-stable electrodes. The easy configuration allows LECs to feature a good tolerance towards the active layer thickness and storage conditions, type of electrodes/substrates (metallic wires/forks, textiles, printer paper, etc), and solvent-based deposition techniques (spin- and spray-coating).

Indeed, the synergy between their moderate performance (efficiency/stability), easy-to-implement, and versatility for the active components makes LECs very attractive for a myriad of lighting applications, including smart labelling, decorative, and signalling, among others. Indeed, several start-ups are currently developing these applications.

Not long ago the special issue in „Advanced Functional Materials“ to commemorate the 25th years of this lighting technology was launched. Prof Pei and Prof Costa, head of the chair Biogenic Functional Materials at TUM Campus Straubing, have been the editors organizing a series of reviews, progress articles, and original research articles summarizing the efforts on understanding the device mechanism, searching for new emitters and electrolytes, and the up-scaling fabrication of LECs.

“In light of the excellence of this special issue, it is safe to state that the last 25 years have been a successful test-bed time for LEC technology, ranging from a mature understanding of the device mechanism, to the limitless design of emitters and ionic additives, to novel device architectures, and to industrial relevant fabrication methods.” says Prof Costa. Still there are many challenges in the LEC technology with regards to the meet highly performing devices using sustainable electroactive materials and substrates. This is one of the research lines of the chair Biogenic Functional Materials at TUM Campus Straubing. Do you want to join?