Skip Links

Researchers tout foldable display for large mobile device screens

Samsung researchers say screen can fold in half with little distortion

By Layer 8 on Thu, 05/12/11 - 11:46am.

Researchers are touting a prototype of a seamless foldable mobile device display that folds in half without a visible crease in the middle.  

Researchers from the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology in South Korea say fabricating a display that can fold in half would have the advantage of providing a large screen in a small, portable form without a visible crease between panels.

The Samsung researchers say they have demonstrated such as beast using what they called a foldable active matrix organic-light-emitting-diode (AMOLED) display. The display consists of two AMOLED panels, silicone rubber, a protective glass cover, and a module case. "The display has a very small folding radius of just 1 mm, so that one panel lies almost completely on top of the other when the display is folded at a 180° angle. Also, the glass cover not only prevents scratches, but can serve as a touch screen, "the researchers said in a statement.

More cool stories: The weirdest, wackiest and stupidest sci/tech stories of 2010

The researchers said they tested the foldable display's mechanical and optical strength by subjecting it to 100,000 folding-unfolding cycles, and found that the relative brightness at the junction decreased by 6%.  Since this difference is hardly recognizable by the human eye, the deterioration is considered negligible, the researchers stated.  Researchers published a detailed study on the display in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.

Samsung in particular is no stranger to building flexible displays.  For example this SingularityHub.com article shows Samsung's technology at this year's CES show.  The article states: "Despite recent hype, [AMOLED] technology has been in use for years - the Kodak Easyshare LS 633 digital camera with an AMOLED screen was released in 2003.  Since then though, the technology has been relatively slow to take off, mostly due to manufacturing costs, and the inability to fill the demand of smart phone manufacturers.  Despite difficulties, many companies - namely Sony and Samsung - remain committed to developing the technology.  Their efforts seem to be paying off - AMOLED screens are used in current products such as Samsung's Galaxy S smart phones and the soon to be released Nokia E7, next-gen Galaxy Tab, and Sony's Cyber-shot digital camera TX100v."

Follow Michael Cooney on Twitter: nwwlayer8  

Layer 8 Extra

Check out these other hot stories:

Google, iRobot team to build robot apps

NASA satellite captures first image of target asteroid

Mobile computing brings out the organized, international, and profit-driven cybercriminal

What kind of cloud computing environment do you get for $6 million?

25 tech touchstones of the past 25 years

How far can commercial space universe grow?

White Castle's hamburger cult of craving goes viral

Air Force wants a long look at commercial spacecraft

Update: Robots find key missing piece of Air France black box

FBI: Romance scams in the air as Royal Wedding fever peaks

NASA Endeavor to fly itsy-bitsy research satellites