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A substrateless, flexible, and water-resistant organic light-emitting diode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite widespread interest, ultrathin and highly flexible light-emitting devices that can be seamlessly integrated and used for flexible displays, wearables, and as bioimplants remain elusive. Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) with µm-scale thickness and exceptional flexibility have been demonstrated but show insufficient stability in air and moist environments due to a lack of suitable encapsulation barriers. Here, we demonstrate an efficient and stable OLED with a total thickness of ≈ 12 µm that can be fully immersed in water or cell nutrient media for weeks without suffering substantial degradation. The active layers of the device are embedded between conformal barriers formed by alternating layers of parylene-C and metal oxides that are deposited through a low temperature chemical vapour process. These barriers also confer stability of the OLED to repeated bending and to extensive postprocessing, e.g. via reactive gas plasmas, organic solvents, and photolithography. This unprecedented robustness opens up a wide range of novel possibilities for ultrathin OLEDs.
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Original languageEnglish
Article number6250
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2020

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