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Sony Rollable OLED Display  (Source: Sony)
New screen is easier to build than previous flexible OLED screens

Sony has long been working on a new generation of displays that are flexible enough to be bent and shaped around an object. The first of these flexible OLED displays to be seen from Sony surfaced in 2007. The display offered 16.7 million colors and was 0.3mm thick with a resolution of 160 x 120 and a 1,000:1 contrast ratio.

Sony has now announced a new breakthrough in flexible OLED displays that puts the 2007 unveiling to shame. The new screen that Sony has debuted is only 80nm thick and can be rolled around a pencil while displaying images on screen. The screen measures 4.1-inches and is a full color display. To create such a thin display, Sony used a new organic semiconductor material it developed called peri-Xanthenoxanthene (PXX).

PXX is important to the breakthrough because it is stable when exposed to oxygen, moisture, light, and heat. It also has an improved current modulation of eight-times compared to conventional organic semiconductor material pentacene. The new display is also the first flexible organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) that uses an integrated flexible gate-driver circuit.

The integrated flexible gate-drive is key because it allowed the removal of the ridged driver IC chips used in other displays. The design process also uses new organic insulators that can be formed in the atmosphere requiring fewer steps to produce making the construction process less time consuming and more efficient compared to traditional vacuum semiconductor processes.

Sony claims that the flexible display can be repeatedly rolled up to a radius of 4mm and stretched as many as 1,000 times without degradation in the ability to show moving images. The display can show over 16.7 million colors, has a contrast ratio of around 1,000:1, and a peak luminance of 100 cd/m2.





"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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