Stretchable active-matrix organic light-emitting diode display using printable elastic conductors

Nat Mater. 2009 Jun;8(6):494-9. doi: 10.1038/nmat2459.

Abstract

Stretchability will significantly expand the applications scope of electronics, particularly for large-area electronic displays, sensors and actuators. Unlike for conventional devices, stretchable electronics can cover arbitrary surfaces and movable parts. However, a large hurdle is the manufacture of large-area highly stretchable electrical wirings with high conductivity. Here, we describe the manufacture of printable elastic conductors comprising single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) uniformly dispersed in a fluorinated rubber. Using an ionic liquid and jet-milling, we produce long and fine SWNT bundles that can form well-developed conducting networks in the rubber. Conductivity of more than 100 S cm(-1) and stretchability of more than 100% are obtained. Making full use of this extraordinary conductivity, we constructed a rubber-like stretchable active-matrix display comprising integrated printed elastic conductors, organic transistors and organic light-emitting diodes. The display could be stretched by 30-50% and spread over a hemisphere without any mechanical or electrical damage.