This is the fifth post of the Macroelectronics.org OLEDs series. Stay tuned.
Flexible OLED or FOLED is a very promising technology in the future. For FOLED to be flexible, metallic foils or thin plastics such as PET and PEN polyester films are used as the main substrate since it can endure strains very well. Because the display is flexible, it is less likely for the display to crack or break. Therefore, electronic products will last longer. Roll-to-roll process (found in printing industries) is an applicable manufacturing process, which will lower overall product costs. However, there are still many challenges before FOLED technology can be mass produced to the public. For instance, packaging FOLED is different than typical OLED. In order for typical OLED to be water resistance, two plates of thin glasses are sandwiched between the OLED. However, glass is brittle and it can not be used for FOLED where flexibility of the display is the key.
FOLEDs offer a new generation of display technology because they are durable, light weight, thin, flexible and cost effective. These qualities are ideal for mobile gadgets like cell phone, GPS, or even “smart clothing” where electronics are embedded within. Currently, companies such as Sony, Universal Display, Samsung, and US Army, are researching to make FOLED a feasible technology for everyday uses.