Display technology is advancing at breakneck speed. It wasn’t that long ago that we thought the idea of OLED technology or flexible displays was completely novel. Now, researchers at UCLA have come up with the world’s first fully stretchable OLED display. This is quite different from just being bendable.
That’s because they can take this strip of OLED and pull it, stretching that light to expand up to 45 percent along one axis. This flexible and stretchable property could make this kind of tech remarkably useful for applications like robotic skin and other embedded medical devices. They could be worn like skin-tight clothing, bringing us that much closer to the future we see in sci-fi movies.
To achieve this, the scientists took a plastic that emits light when electricity runs through it, and put that polymer between two layers of carbon nanotube electrode. The office laminating device pushed out the air bubbles and ensured the circuit would be complete. The exact science is certainly beyond me, but this proof of concept is pretty cool. It is just the first step, though, as the stretchable OLED currently only shows off a single band of color, which isn’t all that useful for displaying real information. However, as this tech gets better, who knows what’ll be grafted to our skin in the near future?