CONJUGATED polymers are organic semiconductors, the semiconducting behaviour being associated with the π molecular orbitals delocalized along the polymer chain. Their main advantage over non-polymeric organic semiconductors is the possibility of processing the polymer to form useful and robust structures. The response of the system to electronic excitation is nonlinear - the injection of an electron and a hole on the conjugated chain can lead to a self-localized excited state which can then decay radiatively, suggesting the possibility of using these materials in electroluminescent devices. We demonstrate here that poly(p-phenylene vinylene), prepared by way of a solution-processable precursor, can be used as the active element in a large-area light-emitting diode. The combination of good structural properties of this polymer, its ease of fabrication, and light emission in the green-yellow part of the spectrum with reasonably high efficiency, suggest that the polymer can be used for the development of large-area light-emitting displays. © 1990 Nature Publishing Group.