Light-Emitting Fibers For Wearable Displays

Scientists in Korea have developed a method to create light-emitting fabric that can be used in wearable displays.

AsianScientist (Sept. 4, 2017) – Scientists in Korea have developed a highly flexible and durable technology for creating wearable displays. They report their results in the journal Scientific Reports.

Academia and industry hailed the advent of wearable displays when, back in 2011, studies on luminescence in fabrics began to surface. However, due to the surface roughness and the rigidity of the existing materials, the commercialization of light-emitting fabric technology has not caught on.

In this study, a research team led by Professor Kyung Cheol Choi at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology developed a highly efficient, light-emitting, flexible fabric that can be easily commercialized.

Choi’s group successfully laminated a thin planarization sheet onto fabric to form a surface that is compatible with organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). They also developed a dip-coating method, capable of uniformly depositing layers, to produce polymer light-emitting diodes with high luminance even on thin fabric. The present result is a culmination of their efforts to combine both techniques—the latest material retains its light-emitting capability even when subject to significant stress.

“Due to their inherent wavy structures and empty spaces, the fibers play a significant role in lowering the mechanical stress on the OLEDs,” said Choi.

According to the team, their wearable device facilitates the operation of OLEDs even at a bending radius of 2 millimeters.

“Ours is the most flexible fabric-based light-emitting device among those reported. Moreover, our in-depth analysis of the mechanical characteristics of the material can be used as a standard for the fabric-based electronics industry,” said Choi.

“The technology to Incorporate display screens into our clothing is now a reality,” said Choi. “Light-emitting clothes will have a considerable influence on not only the e-textile industry, but also the automobile and healthcare industries,” he added.

The article can be found at: Choi et al. (2017) Highly Flexible and Efficient Fabric-Based Organic Light-Emitting Devices for Clothing-Shaped Wearable Displays.


Source: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
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