MRS Bulletin

Technical Feature

Technical Feature

Combinatorial Screening and Optimization of Luminescent Materials and Organic Light-Emitting Devices

Ted X. Sun and G.E. Jabbour


The rapid development of modern photonic technologies—for example, mercury-free lamps, flat-panel displays, and solid-state lamps—demands the timely discovery of advanced phosphors. A combinatorial process has been developed to dramatically accelerate the experimental search for such phosphors. High-density phosphor “libraries” containing from 100 to over 1000 discrete chemical compositions on a 1 in. × 1 in. substrate have been made in thin-film or powder form using selective vapor deposition and liquid-dispensing techniques, respectively. In this article, the existing methods of combinatorial synthesis and screening of phosphors will be reviewed with examples. These methods may also be used to screen organic-based solid-state materials and optimize their device properties. In this regard, combinatorial and spreading techniques have been utilized to study and rapidly optimize organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs).


  • combinatorial methods;
  • luminescent materials;
  • optical materials;
  • optical properties;
  • organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs).

Ted X. Sun is one of the original researchers who participated in the development of combinatorial materials chemistry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from 1993 to 1998. He later joined General Electric Corporate R&D in Schenectady, N.Y., where he led the effort in combinatorial research on solid-state materials. His work on high-throughput materials research covers various industrial materials including luminescent and magnetic materials, superconductors, polymers, coatings, catalysts, and nanomaterials. He is the author of about 10 publications on combinatorial research on solid-state materials. In 2000, he co-founded Parallel Synthesis Technologies Inc., a Silicon Valley biotechnology company developing high-throughput screening techniques and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) products for applications in the field of molecular biology.

Sun can be reached by e-mail at ted_sun@

Ghassan E. Jabbour is on the faculty of the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona. Some of his research has been in the area of organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs), including the introduction of novel air-stable electrodes, screen printing, ink-jet printing, and electrode modification. He attended Northern Arizona University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Arizona. He earned a PhD in materials science and engineering in 1994 from Arizona. Jabbour specializes in the development of materials, devices, and systems for optical, electronic, and data-storage applications. His recent projects involve work on organic-based solar cells, OLEDs for lighting applications, printed photonic materials and biomaterials, nanophotonics, optics, and the materials science of thin films. In addition to combinatorial research, Jabbour also works on the development of hybrid photosensitive materials for various applications. Jabbour is the editor of several books related to these areas. He has chaired more than 15 conferences, including the nanotechnology track for the annual meeting of SPIE. He is also the associate editor of the Journal of the Society for Information Display (JSID).

Jabbour can be reached by e-mail at