The Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI) has developed an ultra-thin OLED electrode material that can be used as an ITO alternative on flexible displays. The material can reach a curve radius of 0.1mm.
According to the researchers, the new material – the electrodes are made by fusing silver nanowires and transparent polyimide – can be bent up to 100,000 times. It reaches 90% light transmittance, with a sheet resistance of 8 Ohms/square.
Existing silver nanowires were not suitable for the new material, as they added a roughness to the polymer substrate. The KETI team added the nanowires to the substrate and adjusted roughness through plasma irradiation, achieving a surface roughness of 0.8nm, similar to existing smartphone glass substrates.
“We are currently discussing mass production with major chemical material manufacturers in Korea, expecting that a fully-foldable smartphone will be available on a commercial scale within two years to come”, the researchers wrote.