Transient Light-Emitting Diodes Constructed from Semiconductors and Transparent Conductors that Biodegrade Under Physiological Conditions

Di Lu, Tzu Li Liu, Jan Kai Chang, Dongsheng Peng, Yi Zhang, Jiho Shin, Tao Hang, Wubin Bai, Quansan Yang, John A. Rogers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transient forms of electronics, systems that disintegrate, dissolve, resorb, or sublime in a controlled manner after a well-defined operating lifetime, are of interest for applications in hardware secure technologies, temporary biomedical implants, “green” consumer devices and other areas that cannot be addressed with conventional approaches. Broad sets of materials now exist for a range of transient electronic components, including transistors, diodes, antennas, sensors, and even batteries. This work reports the first examples of transient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that can completely dissolve in aqueous solutions to biologically and environmentally benign end products. Thin films of highly textured ZnO and polycrystalline Mo serve as semiconductors for light generation and conductors for transparent electrodes, respectively. The emitted light spans a range of visible wavelengths, where nanomembranes of monocrystalline silicon can serve as transient filters to yield red, green, and blue LEDs. Detailed characterization of the material chemistries and morphologies of the constituent layers, assessments of their performance properties, and studies of their dissolution processes define the underlying aspects. These results establish an electroluminescent light source technology for unique classes of optoelectronic systems that vanish into benign forms when exposed to aqueous conditions in the environment or in living organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1902739
JournalAdvanced Materials
Volume31
Issue number42
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Keywords

  • biomedical implants
  • degradation
  • light-emitting diodes
  • transient devices
  • waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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