The display can work even after stretching a thousand times.
Samsung continues to experiment with flexible screens. This time, researchers from SAIT (the company’s advanced technical institute) presented a stretchable OLED display that tracks and displays information about biometric processes.
The engineers integrated special heart rate sensors into the design, claiming 30 percent elasticity. The device resembles a patch that is easily attached to the skin.
The display functions even after stretching a thousand times. This is facilitated by a special flexible material known as elastomer. It was developed by Samsung engineers to protect the built-in electronics from heat and has a special lattice structure.
Rigid OLED pixels are applied to the “islands” of the elastomer, and flexible electrodes are used to conduct electricity. This two-part structure allows the channels between the pixels to stretch and contract without deforming the LEDs themselves.
Optical blood flow sensors are implanted on a substrate — so they register a 2.4 times stronger signal than classic heart rate monitors in fitness trackers and smartwatches.
The technology is at an early stage of development, but Samsung suggests that it will soon be able to be used to support health monitoring systems, especially in wearable medical devices. In the meantime, the developers plan to gradually increase the screen resolution, extensibility and measurement accuracy.
Full details of the study are published in the journal Science Advances.