Flexible electronics: Flexible OLED panels moving closer to commercial feasibility
Today's electronics hardware is rigid, you can't bend it or fold it Due to its inherent material property. There's a great scope for flexible electronic materials in semiconductor chips as well as display panels and also interconnects. To some extent interconnects are fairly flexible, but the semiconductor devices and display panels are not.
There's a great deal of research going on in using organic semiconductor and conducting materials to build devices which can be folded and bent without affecting the function.
There is more commercial value in the development of flexible display panels. If you have flexible display panels they can be carried easily from one place to another place. And even your mobile phone can be folded to double the size of the display panel by using clamshell design.
Scientific researchers at Pohang (Republic of Korea) University of Science and Technology have reported technology advancement in the areas of flexible electrodes, flexible encapsulation methods, and flexible substrates used for making OLED based flexible display panels. Their article is published in the latest issue of Journal of Photonics for Energy by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. The researcher Min-Ho Park and other colleagues at Pohang tested different types of transparent as well as flexible electrodes in replacing the present widely used indium tin oxide (ITO), which is not flexible and also set to be costly.
The flexible electrode need to have high electrical conductivity, high bending stability, less or no defects, smooth surface texture, and high work function
reduction in the water-vapor transmission rate of materials used, to counter the vulnerability of OLEDs to moisture.
The Pohang team said to have demonstrated good electrical, optical, and mechanical performance with flexible electrodes fabricated using graphene, conducting polymers, silver nanowires (AgNWs), and dielectric-metal-dielectric (DMD) multilayer structures.
There are still a lot of obstacles researchers are facing in developing flexible electronics such as durability, conductivity, surface roughness, and fabrication cost.
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