thick polymer

60 Seconds on... Paper-thin electronic display

Credit: Mats Tiborn

What is it?

Bendable electronic paper, less than a micrometre thick, with polymers covering the surface.

Who is involved?

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

How does it work?

The polymers on the paper’s surface lead electrical signals along the display, creating high-resolution images in all the colours of a standard LED display.

What are the benefits?

The display works well in bright light, in contrast to standard LED displays, and uses a tenth of the energy of a Kindle, meaning it could reduce energy use in signage. It could also replace traditional signs with flexible, electronic displays.

What are the issues?

The manufacturing process is currently expensive – both gold and silver are used in the display, with a lot of gold wasted into the process.

To read more on this topic see page 17 of the December issue of Materials World.