KAIST made flexible lithium-ion battery, one of many felxtronics to hit the market soon (via KAIST)
Organic electronics is a fast growing field, which is promising to bring us all new products, along with more cost effective and energy efficient solutions. Organic materials work to create products that are more efficient by a combination of p-type positive charge carriers or holes, and n-type negative charge carriers or electrons, transmitting a current only when their bits are flipping. In addition, their flexibility allows them to be placed on a flexible display, which can then be rolled up or bent, in order to create a more versatile display. Recently, researchers have successfully created these displays and demonstrated them; however, they have not been durable or reliable enough to make it to the market.
Several companies, including Samsung, LG, AUO, Sony, and Toshiba, all have prototype products using flexible displays. However, what all of them do not have is any products on the market yet. Recent research being conducted at Rutgers University may potentially change all this. The researchers and scientists led by physicist Vitaly Podzorov claim to have demonstrated extremely flexible displays that can withstand multiple bending and frequent flexing. Published in Nature Communications, the scientists reported rolling flexible displays as small as 200 micrometers. After multiple tests and trials the displays appeared to suffer no degradation and performance remained efficient. Podzorov has stated, “This is the first rigorous study of solution-crystallized organic semi-conductors under various types of strain–sharp bending and repeated flexing along with compression and stretching.”
The researchers used two small molecules, depositing and crystallizing them on plastic sheets from solutions. Furthermore, they hope these same research results will apply to other areas of research concerning organic products. In order for any products to be commercialized, it is important that they undergo rigorous testing to make sure they are efficient and can withstand frequent use. The results of the research can possibly be the final step in creating a manufacturing prototype for companies. Flexible displays also have an advantage of not relying on glass panels. As a result, using flexible displays not only can create a lighter, thinner product it can also create a virtually shatter proof screen. Whether it is by the end of this year or sometime next year we can expect flexible displays to be mass-produced and hitting the market soon.