University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed the first fully stretchable organic light-emitting diode (OLED).
In order to make the device completely pliable, the researchers developed a way of creating a carbon nanotube and polymer electrode and layering it onto a stretchable, light-emitting plastic. The team coated carbon nanotubes onto a glass backing and added a liquid polymer that becomes solid yet stretchable when exposed to ultraviolet light.
"The approach we used is very simple and can be easily scaled up for real production," says University of California, Berkeley researcher Zhibin Yu, who worked on the project while at UCLA.
The proof-of-concept device can be stretched by as much as 45 percent while emitting colored light. "The fact that the fabricated OLED can work under stretched conditions is quite impressive," says University of Michigan professor Jay Guo.
The electrode also is less likely to short out than conventional devices, says Stanford University professor Zhenan Bao. "With this work and those from others, we are getting closer and closer to realizing this kind of sophisticated and multifunctional electronic skin," Bao says.
From Technology Review
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