OLED Inventor Wins Wolf Prize for Chemistry

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ROCHESTER, N.Y., Feb. 22, 2011 — The inventor of the organic LED (OLED) — technology that is quickly becoming prevalent in devices like smartphones and TV and computer screens because of its energy efficiency and ability to make ultrathin, high resolution displays — has been awarded the 2011 Wolf Prize in chemistry.  

Ching Tang, the Doris Johns Cherry Professor of chemical engineering in the University of Rochester's Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, shares the 2011 prize with Stuart Alan Rice of the University of Chicago and Krzystof Matyjaszewski of Carnegie Mellon University. The awarding of the annual prize is often seen as a precursor to the Nobel Prize — In the 33 years that the Wolf Prize has been awarded by the Wolf Foundation, one out of every three scientists to win it in physics, chemistry and medicine has gone on to win a Nobel. 

While LCD displays still dominate the commercial market, Tang's OLEDs are quickly becoming more prevalent. Tang published his seminal paper on the technology in 1987 in the journal Applied Physics Letters, as an employee of Eastman Kodak Co. To this day, that paper has been cited by more scientists than any other paper in the history of the journal.

In addition to the discovery of OLEDs, Tang has been credited with a number of key innovations leading to the commercialization of new flat-panel display technology, including the development of robust luminescent materials, novel color pixilation methods, fabrication processes for the manufacture of OLED displays, and the adaptation of technology for high-definition OLED displays.

Tang is also widely recognized for his seminal early work in photovoltaics, which could lead to major improvements in the ability to produce low-cost solar cells to capture energy from the sun. 

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Society for Information Display. He holds more than 70 US patents and has published 70 papers.

The prize will be awarded by the president of Israel and the Israeli minister of education at a special ceremony at the Knesset on May 29.

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Published: February 2011
AmericasBasic ScienceBusinessCarnegie Mellon Universitycell phoneschemistryChing TangcomputersConsumerDisplaysEastman Kodak companyenergygreen photonicsHajim School of Engineering and Applied SciencesIsraelLCDLight Sourcesluminescent materialsMiddle EastNew YorkNobel PrizeOLED displaysOLEDsphotovoltaicsProfessor Krzystof MatyjaszewskiProfessor Stuart Alan RiceRobert Clarksmart phonessolar cellsUniversity of ChicagoUniversity of RochesterWolf PrizeLEDs

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