Research Highlights: Stretchable OLED Display from UCLA

Aug 30, 2011 Earlier this summer Applied Materials has published communication paper from the research group at UCLA that describes preparation of a proof-of-concept stretchable OLED display.

It has been noted before that the major obstacle in making stretchable/bendable OLED displays is maintaining conductivity during physical deformation of the panel. Scientists from UCLA have solved that problem by using carbon nanotubes that have the ability to stretch well. The display prototype can be described in simple words as two layers of carbon nanotube electrode with a special light-emitting type of plastic in between them. To reaper the device the team first layered carbon nanotubes onto glass backing followed by a layer of liquid polymer that solidifies yet is stretchable under UV light. The polymer diffuses through carbon nanotube electrode layer and completely surrounds the network, rather than staying alongside of it. This material can later be detached from glass and provides transparent, smooth and stretchable electrode. The proof-of-concept display was emitting blue light even when stretched up to 45%.

Interestingly preparation of this cutting edge prototype did not require advanced equipment and a simple office laminator was used to press the layers together and remove air bubbles.

Original Research Article:

Technology Review publication:

Popular Science publication:

Author:  Alice Jones

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