The Optical Society Congratulates National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee Ching Wan Tang

27 March 2017

The Optical Society Congratulates National Inventors Hall of Fame

Inductee Ching Wan Tang

WASHINGTON — The Optical Society (OSA), the leading global professional society in optics and photonics, today announced that Ching Wan Tang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIFH) for the discovery of efficient thin-film organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), which has led to novel display and lighting products. The NIFH honors remarkable innovators who have made noteworthy contributions to our lives.
In 2014, Ching Wan Tang was awarded The Optical Society’s Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award, which is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to optics based on semiconductor-based optical devices and materials, including basic science and technological applications. Dr. Tang won the award for his pioneering work with OLEDs.  
“Ching Wan Tang’s invention, the organic light-emitting diode, is truly a revolutionary technology; it has fundamentally changed display technologies, at the same time improving image quality and reducing electricity consumption,” said Ian Walmsley, President, The Optical Society and Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics, Oxford University. “He is a true pioneer of his field and we are extremely grateful for Tang’s continued dedication and passion for advancing optical technologies.”
Ching Wan Tang spent much of his career at Eastman Kodak, where he and Steven Van Slyke invented the OLED flat-panel display. Tang and Van Slyke applied the organic heterojunction, a bilayer structure of an electron donor and an electron acceptor invented by Tang, to the OLEDs. The OLED screens can be used in the same applications as LCDs but are thinner, lighter, have enhanced brightness and color, and offer a faster response time for basic functions. OLEDs are found in smart phones, digital cameras, and televisions, and provide increased power efficiency, longer battery life, and improved display quality.
Currently, Tang is a professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. In addition to the Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award, Tang has received other accolades including, the 2011 Wolf Prize in Chemistry, and the 2004 American Chemical Society Award for Team Innovation, an honor he shares with Van Slyke.
The newly-inducted Class of 2018 will be honored at “The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation,” a two-day event held in Washington, D.C., May 2nd through May 3rd.
About The Optical Society
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit:

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