Brace yourself for an interesting future in computing, if work by University of Toronto researchers is anything to go by. The researchers are developing advanced flat panel display systems capable or rolling up like a newspaper. The technology may someday be used to develop computer screens that can be easily rolled up. The researchers are also developing wallpaper capable of lighting living spaces. The technology is today the most efficient organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) on flexible plastic. Japan's NHK also developed flexible OLED screens that might one day make a roll-up TV possible.
University of Toronto's Michael Helander and Zhibin Wang, PhD candidates in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, are part of the brains behind the development. The creation of ultra thin flat panel displays will reflect in reduced prices, durability and flexibility. According to the researchers, the invention was an accidental lab discovery. The researchers noticed that clean sheets of indium tin oxide (used in manufacture of flat panel displays) worked more efficiently and consumed less energy.
They discovered the improved efficiency was as a result of chlorine molecules from the cleaning solvent picked by the sheets as they were being cleaned. The accidental discovery led the researchers to develop a new more efficient OLED device. The research team has launched OTI Lumionics, a startup meant to commercialize the technology. The invention also has potential in the smart phone sector and could lead to the development of sturdier Smartphone that can sustain battery power for longer. Samsung and LG last year developed flexible OLED e-paper screens that can be gently bent while continuing to show images.