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Stretchable active-matrix organic light-emitting diode display using printable elastic conductors


Stretchability will significantly expand the applications scope of electronics, particularly for large-area electronic displays, sensors and actuators. Unlike for conventional devices, stretchable electronics can cover arbitrary surfaces and movable parts. However, a large hurdle is the manufacture of large-area highly stretchable electrical wirings with high conductivity. Here, we describe the manufacture of printable elastic conductors comprising single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) uniformly dispersed in a fluorinated rubber. Using an ionic liquid and jet-milling, we produce long and fine SWNT bundles that can form well-developed conducting networks in the rubber. Conductivity of more than 100 S cm−1 and stretchability of more than 100% are obtained. Making full use of this extraordinary conductivity, we constructed a rubber-like stretchable active-matrix display comprising integrated printed elastic conductors, organic transistors and organic light-emitting diodes. The display could be stretched by 30–50% and spread over a hemisphere without any mechanical or electrical damage.

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Figure 1: Printable elastic conductors.
Figure 2: Electrical and mechanical characteristics of printed elastic conductors.
Figure 3: Stretchable display cells comprising an organic LED and a 2T1C driving cell.
Figure 4: Luminance of a stretchable display.


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This study was partially supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI; WAKATE S), and the Special Coordination Funds for Promoting and Technology. We thank K. Asaka, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, for valuable discussion. We also thank GENESIS for designing the Multi channel display driving system (G08MN0029), DAIKIN INDUSTRIES, for generous supply of fluorinated copolymer, and Daisankasei for a high-purity parylene (diX-SR).

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T.Se. and T.So. planned the project and data analysis. T.Se., H.N., H.M, T.F., T.A., K.H. and T.So carried out experimental work. (T.Se., T.F., T.A., T.So.: elastic conductors; T.Se. and T.So.: organic transistors; H.N. and H.M.: organic LEDs; K.H.: carbon nanotubes.)

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Correspondence to Takao Someya.

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Sekitani, T., Nakajima, H., Maeda, H. et al. Stretchable active-matrix organic light-emitting diode display using printable elastic conductors. Nature Mater 8, 494–499 (2009).

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