Flexible Display Prototype  (Source: HP)
HP and Arizona State have announced the first flexible display prototype

Lots of research time, effort and money is going into products that could make revolutionary changes in the electronic products in use around the world. So many products today take advantage of displays from cell phones and computers to refrigerators and even outdoor grills that the market for displays is large and varied.

HP and Arizona State University have teamed up to develop a flexible display at the Flexible Display Center (FDC) at the university. Today the FDC announced that it has developed the first prototype of an affordable, flexible electronic display.

The flexible display is paper-like, but constructed totally out of plastic. The plastic construction allows the display to be easily portable and consume less power than typical displays available today. Potential uses for the new flexible display according to the FDC are in electronic paper and digital signage.

The technology could also make its way into future electronic devices like smartphones and notebook computers. The displays are claimed to be unbreakable and use up to 90% less materials by volume when compared to traditional LCD displays.

HP and the FDC created the flexible displays by using self-aligned imprint lithography (SAIL) technology that was invented by HP Labs. HP says SAIL technology is considered self aligned because the pattering information is imprinted on the substrate in a way that perfect alignment is maintained regardless of distortion.

Displays built using SAIL technology can be fabricated on thin film transistors on flexible plastic material in a roll-to-roll manufacturing process. This allows for continuous manufacturing rather than batch manufacturing used to create current displays.

HP Labs' Carl Taussig said in a statement, "The display HP has created with the FDC proves the technology and demonstrates the remarkable innovation we’re bringing to the rapidly growing display market. In addition to providing a lower-cost process, SAIL technology represents a more sustainable, environmentally sensitive approach to producing electronic displays."

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