World’s Largest Flexible Color Display

A new display screen is more durable than glass, yet thinner and more flexible than a sheet of paper.
Karin Heineman, ISTV Executive Producer

(Inside Science TV) -- Many people are tethered to digital devices in one way or another. Thanks to technology, compact and portable laptops, tablets and cellphones are very durable.  Except for one detail: their screens can break easily.

It’s a problem researchers have been dealing with for years.

“We needed displays that were thin, lightweight and unbreakable,” said Nick Colaneri, a physicist at Arizona State University in Phoenix.

Now, scientists think they’ve found a solution. Colaneri is leading a team that aims to develop the world’s largest flexible display screen. 

“We had to take a thin, floppy piece of plastic and make it look like, as much as we could, like a rigid piece of glass,” said Colaneri.

The new screen is more durable than glass, has vibrant colors, and it’s as thin and bendable as a sheet of paper.

“You can roll [it] up or fold [it] like a sheet of paper,” Colaneri said.

Advances in technology allow the new flexible screen to be made of plastic, but it still has the look of a glass screen with bright colors. One day, it may be able to fold up and fit inside a standard pocket.

The military is especially interested in the technology for soldiers in combat that need their electronics to be extremely durable.

“Releasing the constraints of weight and power and breakability enables us to put displays in lots more places,” said Colaneri.

Author Bio & Story Archive

Karin Heineman is the executive producer of Inside Science TV.