Our future TV and smartphone screens could have double the energy efficiency, thanks to a technique invented by Imperial scientists.

The pixels in many modern screens for TVs, smartphones, tablets, and laptops are lit by little devices called OLEDs ( emitting diodes).

To ensure that it is possible to see the images from such screens on a bright sunny day, OLED screens are covered with an anti-glare filter. However, because of the physics of how the anti-glare filter works, half of the light generated by each OLED pixel remains trapped within the display, which halves the energy efficiency of the OLED.

The manufactures of these displays have therefore chosen to sacrifice to increase usability: smartphones would not be popular if their screens could not be read outside.

Now, a team of Imperial scientists from the Departments of Physics and Chemistry have developed a new type of OLED that avoids this shortcoming.

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