First production flexible, stretchable microLED display

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Royole has demonstrated the world’s first microLED based stretchable display technology compatible with industrial manufacturing processes.

Royole, based in Fremont, California and Shenzhen, China, developed a full-colour, fully flexible display (FFD) in 2014 using active matrix organic LEDs and has the world’s first FFD mass production facility, but the use of microLED technology is key particularly for applications that need transparency such as smart glasses or car windshields.

Stretchable electronics need circuits with stretchability and elasticity that can not only fold or roll, but are also capable of 3D free form shaping, including pulling, twisting, convex and concave deformations. microLEDs demonstrate higher stretchability, finer pitch and higher transmittance compared to stretchable AMOLED and LED prototypes, says the company.

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To verify the process and design method of this research, Royole implemented a 2.7-inch stretchable demo panel in 96×60 resolution. Royole was then able to demonstrate that its micro-LED stretchable display technology is capable of 130 percent stretchability, transmittance as high as 70 percent, convex bending up to 40 degrees with a resolution up to 120 pixels per inch (PPI).

The research demonstrates that techniques used to develop stretchable displays can be applied in existing flexible display panel manufacturing processes, such as Royole’s industry leading proprietary Ultra Low Temperature Non-Silicon Semiconductor Process (ULT-NSSP), which will accelerate the scalability of this nascent technology. Royole has filed over 80 patents globally on stretchable technologies and microLEDs, and has a 4.5-million-square-feet production campus in Shenzhen, China that has been up and running for mass production of fully flexible displays since 2018.

“The development of stretchable display technology compatible with existing industrial manufacturing processes is a signal of the exponential growth the flexible electronics industry is experiencing,” said Dr Bill Liu, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Royole. “Royole continues to lead in flexible innovation, with stretchable technologies marking the next frontier in technical progress that will enable unprecedented applications and form factors across augmented and virtual reality, wearable electronics, biomedical applications, vehicle design and beyond.”

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