Photo credit: McAlpine Group, University of Minnesota
Researchers from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities have created the world’s first fully 3D-printed flexible OLED display. To accomplish this, they used a modified printer and could eventually lead to low-cost OLED displays that can be printed at home rather than in expensive micro-fabrication facilities. More specifically, two different modes of printing were employed to make the six device layers, resulting in a fully 3D-printed, flexible organic light-emitting diode display. Read more for a video and additional information.
The electrodes, interconnects, insulation, and encapsulation were all printed using the extrusion method, while the active layers were spray printed by the same 3D printer at room temperature. When completed, the display prototype was approximately 1.5 inches on each side and had 64 pixels, all of which displayed light. What’s next? Researchers hope to 3D print OLED displays that are higher in resolution and brighter.
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OLED displays are usually produced in big, expensive, ultra-clean fabrication facilities. We wanted to see if we could basically condense all of that down and print an OLED display on our table-top 3D printer, which was custom built and costs about the same as a Tesla Model S,” said Michael McAlpine, senior author of the study.