Partnership struck out of Aspuru-Guzik lab to evaluate new class of molecules for OLEDs

April 12, 2022 by Chemistry at U of T

A discovery in the lab of Professor Alán Aspuru-Guzik has led to a new partnership between the University of Toronto and Kebotix to evaluate a new class of molecules for organic light-emitting diodes – or OLEDs – developed and patented by the university.

Kebotix, a technology platform company for new chemicals and materials, leverages the ability of AI to learn chemical intuition when analyzing huge amounts of data simultaneously and synergistically with the oversight of science experts.

With its AI-powered prediction capabilities, Kebotix aims at accelerating time-to-market for what is potentially the next generation of OLED emitters, according to Aspuru-Guzik, professor of chemistry and computer science. His lab made the discovery of a range of compounds that have both inverted singlet-triplet gaps and are emissive — a rare combination of properties that can be key to dramatically enhancing OLED efficiency.

“Partnering with Kebotix will put the new class of OLED molecules we discovered and patented into actual devices much faster,” said Aspuru-Guzik, also a Kebotix founder. “These molecules are a breakthrough in that they solve insufficient long-term device stability due to decomposition processes caused by excited triplet states. That’s one of the major issues of current emitters.”

Moreover, the new molecules class covers the entire visible light spectrum and improve on OLEDs’ efficiency to convert electricity to light,” according to Dr. Semion Saikin, Kebotix’s chief science officer.

OLEDs are ubiquitous in the electronics market, having found their way into smartphones, computers, televisions, handheld game consoles and other devices with flat-screen displays that demand high image quality and low energy consumption. Because they emit less indoor air pollution due to having fewer toxic substances, OLEDs are more sustainable and have a higher recycling rate, among other environmental and consumer benefits.

“OLEDs are a technology that nearly everyone uses on a daily basis,” Aspuru-Guzik said in explaining why this area of science is a passion project for his lab. “OLEDs truly make the world around us, as we know it, possible. With the prospect of flexible and transparent screens, OLEDs are about to bring us into a new age of more immersive digital technology that ultimately will improve the lives of everyone around us.”