HKUST Physics Professor Wen Weijia and his research team have pioneered the development of foldable paper-like electronic displays. The device can be bent or wrapped around a column like a piece of paper for a wide range of commercial or industrial applications.
Measuring about one sixth of the thickness of a credit card, the break-through device is made by embedding conductive wiring patterns into thermochromic composite films. With its thermochromic quality, the images produced are clear and the color displayed can be tuned, reversed or repeated by varying the temperature.
Speaking at a press conference today (November 2), Prof Wen remarked, "Light weight and portable display technologies have been developed and applied to electronic gadgets including mobile phones and digital cameras, but most of them use LCD technology which can become very expensive as the size of the display increases."
"The thickness of our device is just 150 microns, it is easy and inexpensive to manufacture and use relatively less power. The technology can be conveniently applied to large electronic display panels including signage, buses' destination display screens and mark display panels with lower costs."
"Due to the flexibility of the display material, the displays can be folded for easy transportation and storage. A large display screen can be rolled into a cylinder shape for transportation to the display location."
Other potential applications of the device include electronic billboards, smart windows, color filters, temperature sensors or even e-books.
The team's achievements have been widely published in prestigious international journals including Advanced Materials and Applied Physics Letter. In the process of having this display technology patented, they are seeking to identify interested parties so that the technology can be further developed for industrial and commercial application.
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