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Korea develops world’s 1st fiber-based white OLEDs

New technology to be applied to fashion, functional clothing and vehicle design

April 20, 2022 - 15:10 By Kan Hyeong-woo
Concept image of how fiber-based WOLEDs can be used for functional clothing (KAIST)
South Korean researchers have developed the world’s first fiber-based white organic light-emitting diodes, or WOLEDs, paving the way for more functional wearable tech, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology said Wednesday.

The research team came up with a single, dip-coated white emission layer suitable for a fiber structure to design the fiber-based WOLEDs. In doing so, the researchers figured out how to implement WOLEDs on a string of fiber through simulation and optimization of the white spectra, according to KAIST, whose study was published in interdisciplinary premium open access journal Advanced Science.

Prior to the study, putting WOLEDs on a string of fiber has been difficult as it was composed of a tandem structure, which is two to three times larger than a single-stacked structure of an OLED of three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. 

Photograph of the fiber-based WOLED (left) and a microscopic image (KAIST)
KAIST said the fiber-based WOLEDs displayed strong lighting performance and reliable color index as well as stable durability in terms of sweat resistance, pressure resistance and biocompatibility.

“As we developed an essential technology that was missing in the field of electronic fiber display, we expect that it will allow the realization of high-quality electronic fiber display,” said Hwang Yong-ha, lead author of the research.

Pointing out that WOLEDs are necessary for full-color display, the researchers said they expect the fiber-based WOLEDs to be utilized in various areas such as fashion, functional clothing and vehicle design.

KAIST added that various efforts across the globe are being put into enhancing the technology of electronic fiber display as it could help redefine the wearable technology landscape.