Feeds

Flexible displays bend towards reality

PHOLED meets polyethylene naphthalate

Boost IT visibility and business value

A team of American engineers has developed a process that moves flexible self-illuminated displays a step closer to mass-manufacturing marketability.

Researchers at Arizona State's Flexible Display Center (FDC) have combined a flexible polyethylene naphthalate substrate from DuPont Teijin Films with a PHOLED (phosphorescent organic light-emitting diode or device) display system from the Universal Display Corporation to create a 4.1-inch monochrome 320-by-240-pixel prototype.

Flexible OLED displays have long been thought to be an ideal solution to the challenge of building pocketable devices with large displays. Such a display could, for example, be unrolled from inside a handheld like a window shade or opened like a book, thus providing a viewing area larger than a display simply built onto the surface of the device.

Such displays have proved devilishly difficult to develop, however. The first truly flexible OLED display was demonstrated by Sony back in 2007. The company has continued to refine its technology, demoing an upgraded version as recently as this year's Consumer Electronics Show in January. Japan's NHK has also shown a prototype, as has Samsung.

The problem with flexible OLEDs - as is true with so many leading-edge technologies - has been manufacturability and cost. But since the FDC's process uses a number of standard manufacturing methods, it should have a significant edge in this respect.

According to a press release issued by the FDC and Universal Display, the new technology "achieves the same brightness as traditional displays with extremely low power consumption," two additional factors that point to a promising future in handhelds. Universal Display, in fact, claims that its PHOLED technology can convert "up to 100 percent" of the power fed to it into into light, while old-style fluorescent OLEDs convert only 25 per cent into usable light.

Although the new - and exceptionally flexible - prototype is a monochrome display, the FDC's director of engineering Shawn O’Rourke says: "The fact that we have achieved a functional flexible OLED manufactured directly on plastic using the Center’s manufacturing process represents a significant achievement, and continued developments over the next few years will lead to full color, full motion video flexible displays."

For more information, show up at 11:40 a.m. this Friday at the Society For Information Display's 47th annual Display Week 2009 conference in San Antonio, Texas, when the developers will present their tightly titled research paper, "Active-Matrix PHOLED Displays on Temporary Bonded Polyethylene Naphthalate Substrates with 180°C a-Si:H TFTs".

And while you're in San Antonio, don't miss the Flying Saucer Beer Emporium, which - with over 80 beers on tap - offers just about as much flexibility as a bonded polyethylene naphthalate substrate. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company
Ten points of stuff out of a five pound bag
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE
But they'd lose a deathmatch against the coming Humvee-sized, armoured Arctic ones
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?