Posts Tagged ‘ Researchers ’

Transparent Stretchable Foldable Electronic Display on the Horizon


Img Credit: Wikipedia

At present, organic light-emitting device (OLED) technology is being used in display screens of many of the smartphones and some of the televisions; actually OLED technology is not really a new idea. But now the researchers from UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a smart OLED version which is stretchable, foldable, and transparent.

Researchers have developed a transparent, elastic organic light-emitting device (OLED) that can be repeatedly stretched, folded and twisted at room temperature while still remaining turned on and retaining its original shape which could help revolutionize the electronic display technology. To make this OLED, the researchers worked in layers. The top layer is a protective cover. Next is a transparent electrode, and underneath that is a polymer that lights up when an electrical current hits it. Underneath that polymer is another transparent electrode, followed by another cover. The electrodes are made of a network of silver nanowires inlaid into a stretchy rubbery polymer which allows the device to be used at room temperatures. The network of wires makes a crosshatch pattern, and each point where the wires cross lights up, making a pixel.

The researchers stretched and restretched the OLED 1,000 times, extending it 30 percent beyond its original shape and size, and it still continued to work at a high efficiency. In another test to determine the material’s maximum stretch, the researchers found it could be stretched to more than twice its original size while still functioning. In addition, it can be folded 180 degrees and can be twisted in multiple directions. But there are still some technical challenges like the material is sensitive to air, so there has to be a way to seal it in the same way current glass displays shield their sensitive components. Researchers around the world are racing the clock tackling this obstacle.

For sure, with advancements in this technology it could lead to the new horizons of electronic display and much more. Imagine an electronic display stretching like rubber, or as transparent as the crystal clear water, or a curtain that illuminates a room, or a smartphone screen that have adjustable sizes, or displays which can be flex with a person’s body and all of these being made from the same material.

The research appears in the current issue of the journal Nature Photonics.