Darryl Smith knows how to make organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) more energy efficient than those available today. Current OLEDs have a transparent layer of electrically conductive material deposited on a substrate. Another layer of organic polymer, the one from which light is emitted, is deposited on the transparent layer. The third and final conducting layer is then deposited. Smith, a Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher, proved a method by which an intermediate chemical layer is applied between a conducting layer and the polymer layer of OLEDs, increasing the efficiency of current flow. He describes the single-molecule layer as a self-assembled polymer. The self-assembling layer has rows that line up in the same direction. Adding atoms at each end of the mono-molecule layer, the molecules "anchor" themselves to the conducting layer while maintaining polarity. The molecules' charged ends resemble the poles of a bar magnet. The thin layer shuttles electric charges between OLED's conducting and polymer layers. For more information, go to www.lanl.gov.
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
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