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Developed first fully 3D printed flexible OLED display



Developed first fully 3D printed flexible OLED display

This is a groundbreaking new study, performed by University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers who used a custom printer for fully 3D print a flexible OLED display. The discovery could lead in the future to low cost OLED display that could be largely produced using 3D printers by anyone at home, rather than by technicians in expensive microfabrication facilities.

There OLED display technology it is based on the conversion of electricity into light using a layer of organic material. OLEDs work like high quality digital displays, made flexible and can be used both in large-scale devices such as television screens and monitors, and in portable electronic devices such as smartphones. OLED displays have gained popularity because they are light, efficient from an energy point of view, thin And flexible and offer a wide viewing angle and high contrast ratio. “OLED displays are typically produced in large, expensive, and ultra-clean manufacturing facilities,” said Michael McAlpine, head of the Kuhrmeyer family at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and senior author of the study. “We wanted to see if we could basically condense all of this and print an OLED display on our desktop 3D printer, which was custom built and cost about the same as one. Tesla Model S“.

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I study

In this new study, the University of Minnesota research team combined two different print modes to print the six layers of the device that produced a flexible, fully 3D printed organic light-emitting diode display. The electrodes, interconnects, insulation and encapsulation were all printed by extrusion, while the active layers were spray printed using the same 3D printer at room temperature. The prototype display was about 1.5 inches on each side and had 64 pixels. Each pixel worked and displayed light. “I thought I was getting something, but maybe not a fully functional display,” said Ruitao Su, the first author of the study. “But then it turns out that all the pixels worked and I can see the text I drew. My first reaction was ‘It’s real!’ I couldn’t sleep all night “.

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The display 3D printed it was also flexible and could be packaged in an encapsulating material, which could make it useful for a wide variety of applications. The researchers said the next steps are 3D printing OLED displays with higher resolution and improved brightness. “The great part of our research is that the manufacturing is all integrated, so we’re not talking 20 years with a ‘twisted in the sky’ vision,” said McAlpine.

The research is published in Science Advances.