Flexible micro LEDs can be twisted (left) or folded (right).
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Texas at Dallas researchers and their international colleagues have developed a method to create micro LEDs that can be folded, twisted, cut and stuck to different surfaces.
The research, published online in June in the journalScience Advances, helps pave the way for the next generation of flexible, wearable technology.
Used in products ranging from brake lights to billboards, LEDs are ideal components for backlighting and displays in electronic devices because they are lightweight, thin, energy efficient and visible in different types of lighting. Micro LEDs, which can be as small as 2 micrometers and bundled to be any size, provide higher resolution than other LEDs. Their size makes them a good fit for small devices such as smart watches, but they can be bundled to work in flat-screen TVs and other larger displays. LEDs of all sizes, however, are brittle and typically can only be used on flat surfaces.
The researchers' new micro LEDs aim to fill a demand for bendable, wearable electronics.
"The biggest benefit of this research is that we have created a detachable LED that can be attached to almost anything," said Dr. Moon Kim, Louis Beecherl Jr. Distinguished Professor of materials science and engineering at UT Dallas and a corresponding author of the study. "You can transfer it onto your clothing or even rubber -- that was the main idea. It can survive even if you wrinkle it. If you cut it, you can use half of the LED."
Researchers in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics helped develop the flexible LED through a technique called remote epitaxy, which involves growing a thin layer of LED crystals on the surface of a sapphire crystal wafer, or substrate.
Typically, the LED would remain on the wafer. To make it detachable, researchers added a nonstick layer to the substrate, which acts similarly to the way parchment paper protects a baking sheet and allows for the easy removal of cookies, for instance. The added layer, made of a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon called graphene, prevents the new layer of LED crystals from sticking to the wafer.
"The graphene does not form chemical bonds with the LED material, so it adds a layer that allows us to peel the LEDs from the wafer and stick them to any surface," said Kim, who oversaw the physical analysis of the LEDs using an atomic resolution scanning/transmission electron microscope at UT Dallas' Nano Characterization Facility.
Colleagues in South Korea carried out laboratory tests of LEDs by adhering them to curved surfaces, as well as to materials that were subsequently twisted, bent and crumpled. In another demonstration, they adhered an LED to the legs of a Lego minifigure with different leg positions.
Bending and cutting do not affect the quality or electronic properties of the LED, Kim said.
The bendy LEDs have a variety of possible uses, including flexible lighting, clothing and wearable biomedical devices. From a manufacturing perspective, the fabrication technique offers another advantage: Because the LED can be removed without breaking the underlying wafer substrate, the wafer can be used repeatedly.
"You can use one substrate many times, and it will have the same functionality," Kim said.
In ongoing studies, the researchers also are applying the fabrication technique to other types of materials.
"It's very exciting; this method is not limited to one type of material," Kim said. "It's open to all kinds of materials."
- Announcing Six Winners of the Third Annual Manning/IALS Innovation Awards : Institute for Applied Life Sciences - UMass News and Media Relations - November 13th, 2021
- Lecturer Positions in Intelligent Systems Engineering job with Indiana University Bloomington / Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and... - November 13th, 2021
- Pressure BioSciences Awarded Second U.S. Patent for Its Revolutionary Ultra Shear Technology Platform, for Its Innovative NanoGap Valve - Yahoo... - November 13th, 2021
- Novel Imaging Technique Takes High Resolution 3D Images of Cells - AZoNano - November 13th, 2021
- "Dialogues between world Laureates and Gen-Z" was successfully held: an event focusing on Gen Z and the future of Science - PRNewswire - November 13th, 2021
- NVIDIA Announces Jetson AGX Orin: Modules and Dev Kits Coming In Q1'22 - AnandTech - November 13th, 2021
- Research on Food and Beverage Air Filtration Market Key Data Points Necessary for Effective Strategies | 3M, APC Filtration, Camfil Group, Donaldson... - November 13th, 2021
- Scientists invent 'smart' window material that blocks rays without blocking views - Nanowerk - November 13th, 2021
- How can Australia get cracking on emissions? The know-how we need is in our universities - The Conversation AU - November 13th, 2021
- Machine learning links material composition and performance in catalysts - Nanowerk - August 24th, 2021
- What Is Nanotechnology And How Is It Impacting Neuroscience? - Forbes - August 24th, 2021
- Could Nanotechnology Help to End the Fight Against COVID-19? | IJN - Dove Medical Press - August 24th, 2021
- Are Radioactive Diamond Batteries the Solution to Nuclear Waste? - Interesting Engineering - August 24th, 2021
- Updating the PLOS ONE Nanomaterials Collection Author Perspectives, Part 2 - EveryONE - PLoS Blogs - August 24th, 2021
- Scientists Develop Woven Nanotube Fibers Capable of Converting Heat into Energy - AZoNano - August 24th, 2021
- This engineer is searching for signs of life in the clouds of Venus - Create - create digital - August 24th, 2021
- Ultra-Low IQ PMIC from ROHM Selected to Power NXP iMX8M Nano for High Performance Embedded Artists Industrial Control Board - EE Journal - February 20th, 2021
- Perseverance touches down on Mars and Jaguar going electric: 10 top stories of the week - Professional Engineering - February 20th, 2021
- mHealth Wearable Boosts Remote Patient Monitoring, Connected Health - mHealthIntelligence.com - February 20th, 2021
- New Skin Patch Brings Us Closer to Wearable, All-In-One Health Monitor - I-Connect007 - February 20th, 2021
- Next: Superconducting nanowires could be used in circuits - Electronics Weekly - February 20th, 2021
- 4 UCSD Researchers Win Sloan Research Fellowships for Early Career Scientists - Times of San Diego - February 20th, 2021
- Pendse named 2021 Distinguished Maine Professor - UMaine News - University of Maine - University of Maine - February 20th, 2021
- New Polymer Cores Added to Windows Could Solve Energy Issues for Buildings - AZoBuild - February 20th, 2021
- Caltech Professor Inducted into the National Academy of Engineering Pasadena Now - Pasadena Now - February 15th, 2021
- How Nanotechnology Has Improved the Auto Industry - Salon Priv Magazine - February 15th, 2021
- Caltech: Tai Inducted into the National Academy of Engineering - India Education Diary - February 15th, 2021
- Plastic-nanotube composite 'tougher and lighter than similar forms of aluminium' - Professional Engineering - February 15th, 2021
- New coalmine questioned and high-density hydro planned: 10 top stories of the week - Professional Engineering - February 15th, 2021
- Scientists study moving worm "blobs" to create robot swarms - Big Think - February 15th, 2021
- Riding the Funding Wave: These DFW Startups Got the Money in 2020 Dallas Innovates - dallasinnovates.com - February 15th, 2021
- UVA Honors Distinguished Researchers at Virtual Awards Event - University of Virginia - February 4th, 2021
- Nanostructure of the Anodic and Nanomaterials Sol-Gel Based Materials Application: Advances in Surface Engineering - Products Finishing Magazine - December 19th, 2020
- Evelyn Hu delivers 2020 Dresselhaus Lecture on leveraging defects at the nanoscale - MIT News - December 19th, 2020
- COVID-19 airborne transmission research suggests potential therapies | University of Hawaii System News - UH System Current News - December 19th, 2020
- Engineers awarded for ongoing research excellence - News - The University of Sydney - December 19th, 2020
- New Horizons for research through new adventurous research projects - The University of Manchester - December 19th, 2020
- New collaboration provides opportunity for future water scientists and engineers - Cranfield University - December 19th, 2020
- First of its kind at U of T: MIE launches specialized course in 3D printing - U of T Engineering News - December 19th, 2020
- How Integrated Operations is Using a Breakthrough Misting Technology to Stop the Spread of Deadly Viruses and Bacteria - Iosco County News Herald - October 30th, 2020
- Senior Research Assistant in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics job with THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG | 230871 - Times Higher Education (THE) - October 30th, 2020
- Small Satellite Market Size to Hit USD 9.75 Billion by 2027; Presence of Several Large Scale Companies will have a Positive Impact on Market Growth,... - October 30th, 2020
- Impact Of Covid 19 On 3D Print Materials Industry 2020 Market Challenges, Business Overview And Forecast Research Study 2026 - The Think Curiouser - October 30th, 2020
- The U.S. Finally Has a Sputnik Moment With China - Foreign Policy - October 30th, 2020
- Medtronic Announces Adaptix Interbody System, the First Navigated Titanium Cage with Titan nanoLOCK Surface Technology - BioSpace - October 10th, 2020
- Nanocoolant Alternative for Cooling Elements by UMP Researchers - QS WOW News - October 10th, 2020
- Post Pandemic Nano Gas Sensor Market Size to Reach USD XX Million Billion by 2027 Analysis by Top Manufacturers Raytheon Company, Ball Aerospace and... - October 10th, 2020
- IISc Bengaluru researchers discover nanomotors can lead to early detection of cancer cells - The Indian Express - October 10th, 2020
- Breakout Paper in Journal of Theoretical Biology Explicitly Supports Intelligent Design - Discovery Institute - October 10th, 2020
- Elon Musk's million-mile battery: What it really means - Los Angeles Times - September 23rd, 2020
- Politecnico di Milano: Project for innovation in Nanotechnology is the winner of ERC Starting grant - Science Business - September 23rd, 2020
- Fruit flies' protective corneal coatings reproduced | Research - Chemistry World - September 23rd, 2020
- Toy Insider unveils its Hot 20 List of the year's most wished-for toys - FOX43.com - September 23rd, 2020
- Thin and ultra-fast photodetector sees the full spectrum - Science Codex - September 23rd, 2020
- DiOX carbon free DWR and anti-viral treatments launch in Turkey - Innovation in Textiles - September 23rd, 2020
- New Thin and Ultra-Fast Photodetector can See the Full Spectrum of Light - AZoOptics.com - September 23rd, 2020
- French Exotrail signs two contracts with ESA and stays on track for its electric propulsion mission - SpaceWatch.Global - September 18th, 2020
- Kanazawa University research: Potential drug treatment for particular type of lung-cancer - PRNewswire - September 18th, 2020
- Could Tattoo Ink Be Used to Detect Cancer? - Smithsonian Magazine - September 18th, 2020
- Simulation Software Market Key Drivers, Business Insights, Trends And Forecast 2026 Altair Engineering, Inc., Bentley Systems, Ansys, Inc, Ptc - The... - September 18th, 2020
- Faculty and Staff Achievements Summer 2020 - CSUN Today - September 18th, 2020
- Diomics Announces Agreement With Department of Defense to Accelerate Development and Testing of Diocheck SARS-CoV-2 Immune Response Indicator Patch -... - September 18th, 2020
- Ashok Leyland, Hindustan Zinc team up with IIT-M to develop Zinc air battery - BusinessLine - September 18th, 2020
- The next generation of American nuclear - Power Technology - September 18th, 2020
- Cloth masks are effective at reducing virus transmission because it spreads in respiratory droplets, which are larger than smoke particles and the... - September 18th, 2020
- Build your own robots with this kit on sale for $50.15 - Mashable - September 6th, 2020
- Phase engineering and the final frontier! - Advanced Science News - September 6th, 2020
- The Role of Electron Microscopy in Battery Research - AZoM - September 6th, 2020
- Copper-coated face masks could help slow transmission of COVID-19: U of T researchers - News@UofT - September 6th, 2020
- Impact Of Covid-19 on Graphene Market 2020 Industry Challenges, Business Overview and Forecast Research Study 2026 - Owned - September 6th, 2020
- Nano Gas Sensors Market 2020 Growth Opportunities and Revenue Statistics to 2025 By Top Players | Raytheon Company, Ball Aerospace and Technologies,... - September 4th, 2020
- Surgical Instruments Tracking Systems Market Predicted to Accelerate the Growth by 2018-2028 - Scientect - September 4th, 2020
- Food dyes, tattoo ink can be used to detect cancer: Study - BusinessLine - September 4th, 2020
- 3D Printed Implants Market: Growing Biomedical Applications of 3D Technology is Expected to Boost the Market - BioSpace - September 4th, 2020
- MIT partners with national labs on two new National Quantum Information Science Research Centers - MIT News - September 2nd, 2020
- A new platform for controlled delivery of key nanoscale drugs and more - MIT News - September 2nd, 2020
- Carleton Faculty Receive CFI Funding to Support Research Benefiting All Canadians - Carleton Newsroom - September 2nd, 2020
- Nanotextiles Market Estimated size be driven size Innovation and Industrialization COVID-19 2024 - Chelanpress - August 10th, 2020
- Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Internet of Things job with CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY | 218434 - Times Higher Education (THE) - August 8th, 2020
- The End of an Era as Tata Motors Prepare To Sell Their Passenger Car Business - Moneylife - August 8th, 2020