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Crowd Funding for Better LEDs

Want a cheaper, greener LED television? You can help develop the research to replace expensive flat-screen technology with a little up-front investing in an experiment conducted by NC State chemistry professor Walter Weare.

Weare is hoping to find a new method for making cutting-edge organic LED molecules that will eliminate the costly and environmentally challenging current technology, which uses tons of energy to produce and uses mostly mined materials.

OLEDs typically use the rare and expensive element iridium or hard-to-make organic chromophores. The current race among researchers in this competitive field is to develop OLEDs from greener biological sources to replace iridium and the use of petroleum byproducts.

Weare’s approach is to make a simpler version of the OLEDs, which could lead to cheaper, clearer and greener televisions.

Weare’s project is part of the Scifund Challenge, a crowd-funding effort by that runs through the end of this week. He’s already exceeded his original request of $800, but is still looking to grow pledges for his research.

Weare is no stranger to the growing field of crowd-funded experiments. In 2011, he raised more than the $500 he requested to fund an experiment that turned solar energy into liquid fuel.