University of Rochester

Ching Tang, Developer of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, Wins Daniel E. Noble Award

October 30, 2007

Ching W. Tang of the University of Rochester has received the 2007 Daniel E. Noble Award from IEEE, one of the largest organizations in the world dedicated to the advancement of technology. Tang is the Doris Johns Cherry Professor who holds a primary appointment in the Department of Chemical Engineering as well as courtesy appointments in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, and Chemistry.

Tang is the primary developer of the organic light-emitting diode (OLED), which has spawned a multi-billion-dollar industry. The award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to emerging technologies, was given to Tang because his OLEDs offer superior imagery for less power than even the most advanced LCD displays today.

"Compared to the long list of recognitions that Ching has received for his fundamental and applied research behind organic light-emitting diodes, this award stands out for its multidisciplinary character," says Shaw H. Chen, chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. "Our interdisciplinary research initiative in organic electronics across the College is well served by Ching's leadership in both solar cells and flat-panel displays."

In addition to the discovery of efficient 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 of solar cells to capture energy from the sun.

Prior to joining the University of Rochester in Fall 2006, Tang was a Distinguished Research Fellow at Eastman Kodak Company. 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 U.S. patents and has published 70 papers, including three highly cited papers based on his original work on solar cells and OLEDs. For his contributions to the fundamentals of organic electronics and the technological impact on a new flat-panel display industry.

Tang has received a number of awards including the Eastman Innovation Award (2000) from Eastman Kodak Company, the Carothers Award (2001) and the Team Innovation Award (2003) from the American Chemical Society, the Jan Rajchman Prize (2001) from the Society for Information Display, and the Humboldt Research Award (2005).

Tang obtained a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of British Columbia in 1970 and a doctorate from Cornell University in 1975, also in chemistry. He joined the Kodak Research Laboratories after graduating from Cornell in 1975. Initially, he worked on solar energy conversion and succeeded in developing, based on a structure that he invented, the first organic solar cells with 1 percent efficiency. A few years later, he went on to discover the high-efficiency organic light emitting diode—the OLED, and spent the rest of his career at Kodak primarily leading the research and development effort in OLED.

The Daniel E. Noble Award was presented to Tang at the IEEE Lasers & Electro-Optics Society Annual Meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on October 22, 2007. Tang shared the honor with Stephen R. Forrest William Gould Dow Collegiate Professor in Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan, and Sir Richard H. Friend, professor at the University of Cambridge, both of whom helped pioneer OLEDs.