Metal foils as thin as 25 mm have been used and planarization process has been developed. Another key challenge is to develop a flexible thin film permeation barrier. OLEDs degrade as a result of exposure to atmospheric oxygen and water. Working with Professor Wagner’s team at Princeton University, we have identified a flexible, highly impermeable barrier layer that is deposited from environmentally-friendly and inexpensive precursors in a single-chamber reactor. The lifetime of OLEDs encapsulated with the layers exceeds the industrial target of 1,000 hours and also the lifetime of conventionally sealed glass packaged OLEDs.
We will…present recent results on ultra-thin (< 50 μm) flexible OLED displays. Flexibility results on these displays show that they operate when conformed to a tight diameter of only 5 mm.
If you read between the lines, the 1000-hour benchmark (which would be about a year of evening TV watching, or quite possibly the working life of a cellphone) is a lower limit, since they compare the results favorably to glass encapsulation (several thousand hours).
But what I really want to know is how this thing responds to repeated rolling and unrolling. Because if you can roll it up to 5mm diameter, that’s pretty much a fat pencil that unrolls into a book-sized display.