Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

UCLA engineers develop a stretchable, foldable transparent electronic display
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Sep 25, 2013

View a video on the technology here.

Imagine an electronic display nearly as clear as a window, or a curtain that illuminates a room, or a smartphone screen that doubles in size, stretching like rubber. Now imagine all of these being made from the same material.

Researchers from UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a transparent, elastic organic light-emitting device, or OLED, that could one day make all these possible. The OLED can be repeatedly stretched, folded and twisted at room temperature while still remaining lit and retaining its original shape.

OLED technology is used today in screens for many smartphones and some televisions. The new ultra-stretchable OLED material developed at UCLA could lead to foldable and expandable screens for new classes of smartphones and other personal electronic devices; electronics-integrated clothing; wallpaper-like lighting; new minimally invasive medical tools; and many other applications.

"Our new material is the building block for fully stretchable electronics for consumer devices," said Qibing Pei, a UCLA professor of materials science and engineering and principal investigator on the research.

"Along with the development of stretchable thin-film transistors, we believe that fully stretchable interactive OLED displays that are as thin as wallpaper will be achieved in the near future. And this will give creative electronics designers new dimensions to exploit."

The research is published online in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Photonics. The lead author of the study is Jiajie Liang, a postdoctoral scholar in Pei's Soft Materials Research Laboratory at UCLA.

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.

The material has a single layer of an electro-luminescent polymer blend sandwiched between a pair of new transparent elastic composite electrodes.

These electrodes are made of a network of silver nanowires inlaid into a rubbery polymer, which allows the device to be used at room temperatures. All of these layers are fully stretchable, foldable and twistable. The new material can also be fabricated in a relatively simple all-solution-based process.

"The lack of suitable elastic transparent electrodes is one of the major obstacles to the fabrication of stretchable display," Liang said.

"Our new transparent, elastic composite electrode has high visual transparency, good surface electrical conductivity, high stretchability and high surface smoothness - all features essential to the fabrication of the stretchable OLED."

The team also demonstrated this ultra-flexible OLED could contain multiple pixels, rather than just a solid block of light. This could pave the way for electronic displays comprising many thousands of pixels. They accomplished this by assembling the silver nanowire-based electrodes into a cross-hatched pattern, with one layer of columns and one layer of rows.

"While we perceive a bright future where information and lighting are provided in various thin, stretchable or conformable form factors, or are invisible when not needed, there are still major technical challenges," Pei said.

"This includes how to seal these materials that are otherwise sensitive to air. Researchers around the world are racing the clock tackling the obstacles. We are confident that we will get there and introduce a number of cool products along the way."

Pei is also a member of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA. Other authors of the study include Lu Li, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar; UCLA engineering graduate student Xiaofan Niu; and Zhibin Yu, a former UCLA doctoral student and postdoctoral scholar who is now a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley.


Related Links
University of California - Los Angeles
Satellite-based Internet technologies

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Asia snaps up Apple's first gold-coloured iPhone
Singapore (AFP) Sept 20, 2013
Asian consumers have snapped up Apple's first gold-coloured iPhone, but many were left disappointed and frustrated at missing out during Friday's highly anticipated global launch of the 5S. From Japan to Singapore, China and Hong Kong, there was a particular clamour for the gold-coloured version, closely associated with wealth in Asian cultures. It was not clear how many of the golden 5 ... read more

Mission to moon will boost research and awareness

Mighty Eagle Improves Autonomous Landing Software With Successful Flight

Watch Out for the Harvest Moon

Chang'e-3 lunar probe sent to launch site

NASA Rover Inspects Pebbly Rocks at Martian Waypoint

Martian Life: Good or Bad?

Communications Tests Go the Distance for MAVEN

Curiosity Rover Detects No Methane On Mars

International Partnership Releases Space Exploration Benefits Paper

Iran to send second monkey into space

Voyager's departure from the heliosphere

NASA study is enough to make a person want to stay in bed

Chinese VP stresses peaceful use of space

China's space station to open for foreign peers

Last Days for Tiangong

China civilian technology satellites put into use

Station Crew Readies for Cygnus' Sunday Arrival

American, two Russians take shortcut to space

Tech glitch delays space station berthing to Saturday

Cygnus arrival at ISS delayed by at least 2 days: NASA

Arianespace and Astrium sign deal to begin production of 18 new Ariane 5 vehicles

Problems with Proton booster fixed

Decontamination continues at Baikonur after Proton abortive launc

Russia launches three communication satellites

ESA selects SSTL to design Exoplanet satellite mission

Coldest Brown Dwarfs Blur Lines between Stars and Planets

NASA-funded Program Helps Amateur Astronomers Detect Alien Worlds

Observations strongly suggest distant super-Earth has water atmosphere

Space oddity: the mystery of 2013 QW1

Domain walls as new information storage medium

Invention jet prints nanostructures with self-assembling material

New Model Should Expedite Development of Temperature-Stable Nano-Alloys

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement