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[International Journal] Weavable and Highly Efficient Organic Light-Emitting Fibers for Wearable Electronics: Achieved by a Scalable, Low-Temperature Process
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Seonil Kwon, Hyuncheol Kim, Seungyeop Choi, Eun Gyo Jeong, Dohong Kim, Somin Lee, Hoseung Lee, Young Cheol Seo, and Kyung Cheol Choi
Nano Letters, January , 2018
vol 18, no 1, pp 347-356
Fiber-based wearable displays, one of the most desirable requisites of electronic textiles (e-textiles), have emerged as a technology for their capability to revolutionize textile and fashion industries in collaboration with the state-of-the-art electronics. Nonetheless, challenges remain for the fibertronic approaches, because fiber-based light-emitting devices suffer from much lower performance than those fabricated on planar substrates. Here, we report weavable and highly efficient fiber-based organic light-emitting diodes (fiber OLEDs) based on a simple, cost-effective and low-temperature solution process. The values obtained for the fiber OLEDs, including efficiency and lifetime, are similar to that of conventional glass-based counterparts, which means that these state-of-the-art, highly efficient solution processed planar OLEDs can be applied to cylindrical shaped fibers without a reduction in performance. The fiber OLEDs withstand tensile strain up to 4.3% at a radius of 3.5 mm, and are verified to be weavable into textiles and knitted clothes by hand-weaving demonstrations. Furthermore, to ensure the scalability of the proposed scheme, fiber OLEDs with several diameters of 300, 220, 120, and 90 μm, thinner than a human hair, are demonstrated successfully. We believe that this approach suitable for cost-effective reel-to-reel production, can realize low-cost commercially feasible fiber-based wearable displays in the future.