Researchers at Tohoku University develop a super flexible liquid-crystal device

Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan developed a super flexible organic liquid crystal device, which they say are promising for next-generation highly-flexible LCD displays. The new device is formed from ultra-thin plastic (polyimide) substrates that are firmly bonded by polymer wall spacers.

Super flexible LC structure (Tohoku University)

The transparent polyimide substrate (made by Mitsui Chemicals) are about 10 um thick each, and feature heat resistance and the ability to form fine pixel structures, including transparent electrodes and color filters. The refractive index anisotropy is extremely small, making wide viewing angles and high contrast ratio possible.

Yole Developpement sees OTFT-based flexible OLEDs within 2-3 years

Yole Developpement released a new report covering the OTFT market for flexible displays and other applications. According to Yole, some display makers in Taiwan and China are currently in the process of industrializing OTFT-based displays - flexible LCDs at first, with flexible OLEDs coming within 2-3 years.

OTFT penetration for displays (2016-2022, Yole)

The mobility of OTFTs are already high enough for LCDs (higher than a-Si) - but still not enough for OLEDs. But in 2-3 years this should be resolved, with low-performance (200 PPI) OLED displays for wearables, some consumer applications and embedded automotive OLEDs possible within 2-3 years.

Screen Holdings starts making flexible OLED deposition equipment

Screen Holdings logoJapan's Screen Holdings (previously Dainippon Screen Mfg), a manufacturing equipment maker, announced that it started producing mass-production systems for OLED deposition - and began supplying these to display makers in April.

Screen Holdings is already making OLED deposition systems, but only R&D tools. The company finished the development of 6-Gen tools that can coat on polyimide substrate - for flexible OLED production.

Samsung to use a hybrid glass-polymer in its upcoming foldable OLEDs

According to reports, Samsung is gearing up to introduce their first foldable OLED smartphone device by the end of 2016, as Samsung's mobile phone unit is under pressure to innovate and recapture its lost market share.

Transistors deposited on Solip Technology's Hybrimer

According to an interesting report from Korea, Samsung has been collaborating with a KAIST spin-off called Solip Technology that developed a foldable glass that will be used in Samsung's upcoming foldable OLEDs. Samsung is considering placing a strategic investment in Solip as this material is a key technology for Samsung.

Guangzhou New Vision shows a new 0.01 mm thick flexible OLED prototype

China's Guangzhou New Vision has been developing flexible AMOLED displays for a long time, and the company now unveiled its latest prototype. This 0.01-thick panel use a Polyimide substrate, an Oxide-TFT backplane and an RGB (direct emission) frontplane. The curvature radius is 4.5 mm.

New Vision's 2014 flexible AMOLED prototype actually used a PEN substrate - and it's interesting to see the coming moving back to Polyimide. Back in 2014 New Vision said that the flexible OLEDs will be commercialized "in the near future".

Samsung shows new foldable OLED prototypes, world's largest transparent OLED

Samsung hosted an investors forum in NY a few days ago, and it is reported that much of Samsung's focus was on OLED technologies. As we already reported, Samsung Electronics announced that flexible OLED is one of its 3 areas of future growth (especially as they struggle to increase high-end mobile phone sales), and during the conference the company revealed some interesting information and prototypes.

Foldable OLED concept (2013)

So first up were two new foldable OLED prototypes - a 5.5" (WQXGA, 2048x1526, 464 PPI) panel that folds in half and a 10" tri-foldable AMOLED (Full-HD, 218 PPI).

Researchers develop a cost-effective way to bond polyimide to glass for flexible OLED production

Researchers from the University of Tokyo developed a new technology to bond polyimide films to glass so it can easily be peeled off by applying heat. Polyimide is widely used today as a flexible OLED substrate, which is indeed produced on glass and then de-laminated at the end of the deposition process. This is an expensive process today (which requires a laser) with low yields.

The new bonding technology (which they call surface activated bonding) makes it easier to remove the polyimide film. In the new process an argon io beam is used to remove the oxide and adsorption films and flatten the surfaces. A 5-20 nm thick silicon layer is formed between the glass and the polyimide by ion beam sputtering. An iron adhesion layer (1 nm thick) is formed on the silicon to reinforce the bonding.

ITRI shows several new flexible and foldable OLED prototypes

Taiwan's ITRI institute demonstrated several new AMOLED prototypes at Touch Taiwan 2014. First up, is Taiwan's first foldable AMOLED, a 6" full-color panel that can be folded inwards over 10,000 times.

The 6" panel can be folded to a radius of 7.5 mm. The whole panel is just 0.1 mm thick and it was developed with ITRI's own FlexUPD technology which can be used to turn an existing OLED glass line to produce polyimide-based flexible panels.

LG Display developed the world's largest flexible and transparent OLED panels, on the way to make 60" UHD FT-OLED TVs

Back in 2012, LG Display was awarded a project by the Korean government to develop 60" UHD flexible and transparent panels by 2017. Later in February 2014, LGD said it is still on target for this project, and that it will show 17" flexible panel prototypes by the end of 2014.

True to its word, today the company announced that it has developed 18" rollable OLEDs and also 18" transparent OLEDs. LG says that it has acquired the fundamental technologies required to lead the large-size flexible and transparent display market. These are the largest flexible and transparent OLEDs ever unveiled!

New Vision developed a new 5" flexible AMOLED on a PEN substrate

In 2013, Guangzhou New Vision Optoelectronics (New Vision) developed a flexible 4.8" AMOLED display using an Ln-IZO backplane and a polyimide substrate. New Vision now unveiled another flexible AMOLED prototype, this one using a PEN substrate. The company says that they expect flexible OLEDs to be commercialized in the near future.

The new full-color display is 5-inch in size with a thickness of only 0.1 mm and a weigh of less than 5 grams. The radius of curvature is up to 1 cm. New Vision says that PEN is preferable to Polyimide because it's cheaper, it doesn't require the complex preperation process required by PI and it enables transparent panels. The PEN substrate limits the production temperature to 180 C which created a major challenge for New Vision (to deposit the Oxide-TFT backplane at that temperature).

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