Scientists create distortion-free stretchable display

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In what is believed to be a world first, researchers have developed a microLED meta-display technology that can be stretched by up to 25 percent without image distortion.

Scientists at the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) in South Korea published their research results in the peer-reviewed journal, Advanced Functional Materials.

Senior researcher Dr Bongkyun Jang and his team in KIMM’s Department of Nano-Mechanics successfully developed a three-inch microLED meta-display that does not distort the displayed image, even when the display is pulled, according to Eurekalert.

For the research a circuit board was created using mechanical metamaterials with a negative Poisson’s ratio (the ratio at which the width of materials shrink when stretched lengthwise.)

Most stretchable materials in nature, such as rubber, shrink in width when stretched lengthwise, resulting in image distortion.

But the researchers found that when a mechanical metamaterial with a Poisson’s ratio of -1 is stretched lengthwise, it stretches at the same ratio along its width. Meaning, images displayed on the material are not distorted.

According to the researchers, their discovery solves the fundamental issue of image distortion in stretchable displays through the use of meta-structures.

The researchers say they plan to pursue the commercialization of their meta-display technologies, which could be applied to a number of display electronics, most notably wearables.