News Picks : Flexible displays edge closer to market
MIT Technology Review: Being made of plastic, organic LEDs are intrinsically flexible. Although OLEDs could be used for displays that can be bent or rolled, it's challenging to protect the material from the few molecules of oxygen or water vapor that suffice to degrade performance. Kateeva, a startup in Menlo Park, California, has devised a solution to the protection problem. By using inkjet technology, the company can coat OLED displays faster and more cheaply than can current processes. Meanwhile, another startup, Canatu of Helsinki, Finland, has resolved a problem that besets flexible touch-sensitive displays. The flat, rigid screens of tablet computers and smartphones rely on tin-doped indium oxide, which is too brittle for use on a flexible screen. For its displays, Canatu replaces the oxide with a thin, flexible film covered with a layer of carbon nanobuds—that is, carbon nanotubes topped with spheres of carbon atoms.