Samsung demonstrates a 9.1" stretchable AMOLED prototype

Samsung Display is set to demonstrate a 9.1-inch stretchable AMOLED prototype during SID 2017. This display can stretch up to 12 mm when pressed, and still maintain its high resolution (which SDC did not specify).

SDC Stretchable AMOLED prototype (SID 2017)

This is an exciting development - but we're all waiting for Samsung to first commercialize its foldable OLEDs, and only then can we expect to see commercial rollable and stretchable displays.

Researchers manage to print a stretchable OLED cirtuit

Researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) developed a stretchable circuit that includes an OLED display, produced entirely using an ink-jet printer.

Stretchable printed OLED prototype (MSU)

The researchers used special developed inks to produce both the circuits and the organic elements - and they say that the ink was also used to produce the substrate, but that seems rather unlikely.

IHS sees the flexible OLED market growing at a CAGR of 44% from 2014 to 2024

IHS says that flexible displays are an "increasingly important segment of overall display market revenues", and by 2024 flexible displays (mostly OLEDs) will grab 15% of the total flat panel display market.

IHS Flexible OLED market forecast 2014-2024

Flexible display production will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44% from 2014 - to reach $23 billion in 2024. The growth may actually accelerate when display makers start to produce rollable, foldable and stretchable panels and devices.

Highly stretchable and foldable supercapacitors enabled by graphene

Flexible OLED displays are quickly becoming a reality, and it is expected that starting from 2015 we're going to start seeing foldable and eventually even stretchable OLEDs used in commercial devices. But for really flexible devices, all components must be flexible too.

While flexible batteries are already being developed, another possibility is to use a flexible supercapacitor. Researchers from MIT developed an extremely stretchable supercapacitor based on crumpled graphene paper.

The Holst Center explains their flexible technologies in three short videos

The Holst Centre released a few nice videos, and I think they're worth a watch. First up is the one about their flexible OLED display research. Last year Holst and imec announced a new program to develop high resolution flexible OLED displays, with a focus on a mechanically flexible encapsulation film and TFT backplane, printed high-efficiency OLED and new materials and processes. The video below shows their first display (which was already unveiled last month):

In this new video you can see that the display is monochrome (red) and contains several defects.

Samsung patents flexible display device concepts

In Q2 2011 Samsung submitted a patent application that describes devices with flexible displays. This patent is now public, and it shows several concepts: A "pen" type device that has a stretchable screen, a bracelet type device and a book like device that can open up.

According to the patent, all sorts of displays may be used to power such a display: including e-paper, LCd and of course OLEDs. Flexible OLEDs are coming in 2012 from Samsung, but don't expect such bendable displays yet. The 2012 crop will be plastic-based displays that will be shatterproof, light and thin - but not bendable...

UCLA researchers developed a stretchable transparent P-OLED device

Researchers from UCLA demonstrated an intrinsically stretchable transparent PLED device. The device was fabricated using a simple process that uses single-walled carbon nanotube polymer composite electrodes. The interpenetrating networks of nanotubes and the polymer matrix in the surface layer of the composites lead to low sheet resistance, high transparency, high compliance and low surface roughness.

The new P-OLED prototype can be linearly stretched up to 45% (see photo below) and the composite electrodes can be reversibly stretched by up to 50% with little change in sheet resistance. They say that this is the first stretchable OLED. Back in 2009, researchers from Tokyo demonstrated a stretchable "rubber like" OLED panel which made from many small individual panels (it's not clear whether each small panel was stretchable by itself).

New silver-nanowires based flexible ITO replacement developed at UCLA

Researchers from UCLA developed a new transparent electrode based on silver nanowires (AgNW) that is a replacement for ITO. The new electrode is made from low-cost and non-toxic materials and is easy to fabricate. It also offers high transparency, low sheet resistance and low surface roughness.

The new electrode is produced on a cross-linked, transparent polyacylate substrate, which is cheaper than glass and can be stiff and rigid or flexible and stretchable. The researchers say that the new electrode could be used to create a shape-memory polymer substrate that can be deformed to various stable shapes - and the deformation is reversible, causes minimal damage to the devices so it can be repeated many times.

Researchers create a flexible array of inorganic LEDs

Researchers led by John Rogers from the University of Illinois have developed a stretchable/bendable sheets of LEDs and light sensors. They are interested in applications that interface with the human body, and so they prefer inorganic LEDs to OLEDs as they are brighter, more reliable and are more easily made waterproof.

The team has printed an interlaced array of LEDs, on a rigid wafer, then dissolved the top layer of the substrate to release a thin network of LEDs that can be transferred to a flexible, waterproof polymer sheet. Each LED is just 100 microns across (about the width of a human hair) and 2.5 microns thick and is connected to its neighbors by serpentine strands that can accommodate the deformation of stretching and twisting. They managed to put the arrays on aluminum foils, leaves ,sheets of paper and around nylon threads.

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs