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Stretchable displays by Samsung

Latest research towards stretchable technology

Recently, free-form displays are gaining a huge pace in the modern era of technology. Free-form are basically displays that feature significantly smaller pixels, allowing for more freedom when determining their shapes. These are becoming popular due to the fact of them being easily carriable and of higher visual quality. As of now, only the prototypes are developed and assumed to have a higher potential in the future. In spite of it being in its nascent stage, continuous research is going on to improve its flexibility.

A week ago, researchers at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology(SAIT), Samsung's R&D hub published a paper on overcoming on stretchability barrier of free-form display technology. Through this study, stable performance in a stretchable device with high elongation was achieved. This research was also the first in the industry to prove the commercialization potential of stretchable devices, given that the technology is capable of being integrated with existing semiconductor processes.

This stretchable skin research was carried out by three members of the SAIT, SAIT Organic Material Lab principal researcher Jong Won Chung (co-first author), principal researcher Youngjun Yun (corresponding author), and staff researcher Yeongjun Lee (co-first author).

SAIT, Tech aficionado

The research team at SAIT was able to integrate a stretchable OLED display with the PPG sensor used to measure the pulse rate in real-time. Since it can be embedded with human skin, it was termed as "Stretchable electronic skin". The research will be helpful in advancements of upcoming wearable technologies which can be worn permanently.

One of the biggest achievements of this research was that the team was able to modify the composition and structure of ‘elastomer’, a polymer compound with excellent elasticity and resilience, and use existing semiconductor manufacturing processes to apply it to the substrates of stretchable OLED displays and optical blood-flow sensors for the first time in the industry. The team was then able to confirm that the sensor and display continued to operate normally and did not exhibit any performance degradation with elongation of up to 30%.

stretchable technology by samsung, SAIT. tech aficionado

To put their research to the test, the SAIT researchers attached stretchable PPG heart rate sensors and OLED display systems to the inner wrist near the radial artery.3 Doing this allowed them to confirm that wrist movement did not cause any property deterioration, with the solution remaining reliable with skin elongation of up to 30%. This test also confirmed that the sensor and OLED display continued to work stably even after being stretched 1,000 times. What’s more, when measuring signals from a moving wrist, the sensor was found to pick up a heartbeat signal that was 2.4 times stronger than would be picked up by a fixed silicon sensor.

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