Bright Opportunity; May 1993; Scientific American Magazine; by Tim Beardsley; 2 Page(s)
Back in 1989 Richard H. Friend, a physicist at the University of Cambridge, was trying to make transistors out of an organic polymer called polyphenylenevinylene (PPV). He knew that PPV had electrical properties similar to those of semiconductors and that it was a tough material ideal for making devices based on thin films. What he had not foreseen was that a thin layer of purified PPV emits a surprisingly bright light if a few volts are applied across it.
More than three years after that discovery, and after much feverish work, Friend and his backers believe they have developed an important technology for making flat-panel displays. Working through a specially created company, Cambridge Display Technologies, they intend to capture a large share of the market for cathode-ray tubes, light-emitting diodes, fluorescent lights, liquidcrystal displays and other such devices.