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CEA-Leti achieves ‘world records’ in micro-OLED based communications

18 Mar 2024

Bandwidth of 450 MHz and rate of 3GB/sec; more than 2x previous levels set in 2020.

Micro-LEDs represent a major field of research worldwide and provide essential technology for a variety of sectors including any that rely on display technology. Micro-LEDs enable a visible light-based communication system that improves performance in terms of speed, density and power consumption.

Faced with concerns of resource sovereignty, organic LEDs (OLEDS) have grown in importance thanks to their use of organic materials. Building on decades of experience, scientists at France-based research center CEA-Leti have recently achieved two world records in terms of OLED performance, opening the way to wider real-world applications.

OLED progress

Luc Maret, Project Manager at CEA-Leti, commented, “We were able to set two world records: a bandwidth of 450 MHz and a transmission throughput of almost 3GB/sec, which is more than twice the previous record established in 2020.”

The CEA-Leti researchers were able to set up a characterization and optimization test bench for point-to-point optical transmission that unites all various parts of the system. As part of this process, an innovative Micro-OLED was designed to increase its potential bandwidth. In addition, the time/frequency envelope of the polarization current was optimized to maximize the efficiency of the transmission.

To create a micro-OLED that meets the need for a GB/second transmission data rate, researchers had to find the best compromise between speed, light performance and size of the optical device. In other words, they had to design an innovative stack of organic layers that would improve light emissions while reducing the size of the Micro-OLED to 40 µm.

Organic solutions

Creating a high-performance Micro-OLED is no easy challenge: “To achieve this innovative solution, we had to evaporate seven layers of various organic materials while precisely controlling how they fit together and stack,” said Christelle Laugier, Lab Technician at CEA-Leti. “This requires precise use of a stencil and a highly controlled set of steps to encapsulate the layers in the final stages of the process.”

Despite the challenges of this process, this strategy supports a growing need for sovereignty in terms of resources and production capabilities.

Vygintas Jankus, OLED and MicroLED Business Developer at CEA-Leti, said “Demand for Micro-LEDs has grown enormously across industries that rely on efficient, high-performing display and communication systems. Organic LEDs offer a promising path to diversify CEA-Leti's portfolio and ensure sovereignty in years to come.”

Further details about CEA Let’s recent microOLED developments are avaiulaible in a paper in the IEEE Xplore journal.

Mad City Labs, Inc.Universe Kogaku America Inc.First Light ImagingLaCroix Precision OpticsBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationHÜBNER PhotonicsCHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.
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