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01.21.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Flexible display technology may one day challenge flat panels on news sets

The flat panel plasma display panel, which has become a staple of so many news sets, may get a run for the money as the dominant “wow, did you see that?” news eye candy if engineers working on FOLED have anything to say about it.



FOLED, or flexible organic light emitting devices, is a technology that could one day be responsible for bendable TV, computer and cell phone displays at home and potentially on the news set

FOLED, or flexible organic light emitting devices, is a technology that could one day be responsible for bendable TV, computer and cell phone displays at home and potentially on the news set.

“It opens up a whole new range of possibilities for the future,” says Zheng-Hong Lu, a professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “Imagine a room with electronic wallpaper programmed to display a series of Van Gogh paintings, or a reusable electronic newspaper that could download and display the day’s news and be rolled up after use.”

On a news set, bendable video displays could wrap gently around a wavy desk or be used in interesting ways in conjunction with real cycloramas and virtual sets.

Beyond the newsroom, such displays may also have an application in the field because they are more durable than rigid flat panels or conventional CRTs. The inflexible glass of today’s flat panel displays makes them susceptible to damage while being moved.

University of Toronto’s Lu is working with post-doctoral fellow Sijin Han and engineering science student Brian Fung to develop FOLED displays on a variety of lightweight, flexible materials, such as transparent plastic films to reflective metal foils that can bend or roll into any shape.

Displays using FOLED technology could show up commercially within the next two or three years.

To view a video of the flexible substrate, please visit: www.nit.utoronto.ca/news/03_foled.avi.

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