Stretchable organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) are becoming increasingly important in the fast-growing fields of wearable displays, biomedical devices and health-monitoring technology. Although highly stretchable OLEDs have been demonstrated, their luminous efficiency and mechanical stability remain impractical for the purposes of real-life applications. This is due to significant challenges arising from the high strain-induced limitations on the structure design of the OLED, the materials used and the difficulty of controlling the stretch-release process.
Prof. Hong-Bo Sun and Jing Feng’s research group at Center for Ultrafast Optoelectronic Technologies, State Key Laboratory on Integrated Optoelectronics, Jilin university, has developed a laser-programmable buckling process to overcome these obstacles and realize a highly stretchable OLED with unprecedented efficiency and mechanical robustness. Their finding was published in Nature Communications [Nature Commun. 7, 11573 (2016)] entitled “Efficient and mechanically robust stretchable organic light-emitting devices by a laser-programmable buckling process”.
The stretchable OLEDs with an ordered-buckling profile have been obtained by the laser-programmable buckling process, which not only creates options for the design and fabrication of the device but also allows the stretch-release cycles to be controlled. The strained OLED luminous efficiency - 70 cd A-1 under 70% strain - is the largest to date and the OLED can accommodate 100% strain while exhibiting only small fluctuations in performance over 15,000 stretch-release cycles. This work paves the way towards fully stretchable OLEDs that can be used in wearable electronic devices, especially in lighting and display applications where high efficiency and mechanical stability are required.