Pickle lighting for fun and profit

2oct09_mitpickle (Custom)

The fantastic people at MIT have taken it upon themselves to explain how an OLED works. Their visual aide in this explanation is an electrocuted pickle. This helps describe how OLEDs are actually constructed from organic material.  Many of you probably already know how they work, but for those who don’t this video will clear up any questions you might have. Even if you do know how OLEDs work, you may learn something too. We hadn’t realized how amazingly thin the displays are.

[via Engadget]


  1. joe says:

    what, no write-up on how to build a glowing pickle?

  2. techninja42 says:

    Ah, and oldie but a goodie. I remember reading about the glowing pickle experiment back in the day in Penn and teller’s book “How to Play with your food…

    Boing boing did a thing on it back in 2006. You just hook up straight ac current to probes in the pickle, and the brine and pickle flesh does the rest. Scary stuff really.


    I wonder if you could make pickle lighting more efficient with some kind of brine enclosure and something like a lime-light arc lamp setup… or would that just cause the pickle to explode? Either way, lots of fun. Oh and because it’s lacking today.. Arduino FTW!

  3. The Moogle says:

    that must smell lovely

  4. Nonya-Biz says:

    thank god he dosent call them led’s…they should have kept OELD as the name it’s less confusing for people.

  5. samurai says:

    photo above: LEP — light emitting pickle…?

  6. aztraph says:

    i prefer the hot dog and LED method

  7. T&P says:

    CRT FAG here. oleds rot, color fades. Not worth the thinness.

  8. sneakypoo says:

    @T&P: You do know that technology moves forward, right? Do you think someone just pooped out a perfect CRT without drawbacks on the first try? Hell they didn’t even have more than one colour back then.

  9. Jesbus says:

    @T&P: Yeah, I’ve never seen a faded, distorted, blurred, misaligned, or otherwise failing CRT. They just last forever and ever without failing. I even heard it told that they don’t really use power, the wall plug is just there so they don’t scare people with their awesome, magic powers.

  10. coldwar23 says:

    Neat demonstration. I may yet make my gridded relish-based matrix CRT. good times…

  11. cf says:

    I heard from someone that used to work for DEC that everyone used to say the “EV” in their alpha processors stood for “Electric Vlasic” =)

  12. Oren Beck says:


  13. Gilliam says:

    @T&P in particular…
    screen burn and eye strain, anyone?

  14. wdfowty says:

    E.T. missing a finger?

  15. jim says:

    The 3 micron thick part of the display is only the organic layer. And whoever said it rots: oh wow I am too polite to explain how ignorant you are.

  16. f8l_0e says:

    @samurai .. LEP is already used. It stands for light emitting polymer. It is actually just another name for OLED, as the polymer is organic.

  17. Dyne says:

    I didn’t know I could light my pickle.

  18. samurai1200 says:


    Then LEP it is!

  19. MACIE says:

    Hi there! Excellent concept, but will this truly function?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,545 other followers