Stretchable OLED Display Is Here; No Stretchable iPad Yet

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It seems like flexible electronics are a holy grail of sorts. While futurisitic foldable gadgets may still be quite a ways off, but some new developments out of UCLA might bring them just a little closer to reality.

UCLA researchers have been hard at work, developing pliable OLED displays that could be rolled up, just like an ordinary piece of paper, or stretched out.

A paper originally published in July, titled "Intrinsically Stretchable Polymer Light-Emitting Devices Using Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composite Electrodes", sheds light on the project: It details that the engineers have successfully managed to create a metal-free organic light emitting diode (OLED) display that can stretch up to 45% its original size.

Researchers created the unique OLED-based display, which is made up of an area of just 2cm by 1cm, by way of layering a carbon nanotube and polymer electrode on to a stretchable plastic. A report on Technology Review explains the development in depth, detailing that this stretchy display was achieved by tightly layering the electrodes around a light-emitting plastic, which shows light when a current passes through it.

When the technology matures, these stretchable electronics could be used for a variety of means, such as consumer electronics, interior design or medical devices.

Take a look at the stretching display in action:

Cool stuff, right? But as the brief video highlights, this technology is still in its early days. It is something of a breakthrough, though--previous research into flexible displays only resulted in bendable devices, whereas this is the first fully stretchable display. Either way, no matter how young the technology is, we hear one guy is very happy to hear about the progress being made.

How would you like to see the technology used? Let us know in the comments.

[via Technology Review]

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