Skip to main content

Graphene breakthrough may enable flexible OLED screens on clothes, more

LG rollable OLED display flexible rollable
LG Display
After four years of hard work, a team of researchers in South Korea has become the first group to successfully integrate electrodes made from graphene into OLED display panels. What does this highly technical research mean to you? It’s a big step forward in using flexible, strong, and super-thin graphene in OLED screens, possibly permitting their use on everything from next-generation wearable technology to smart clothes.

The researchers replaced the traditional indium tin oxide electrodes, located inside the largest OLED panel substrate available, measuring 370mm by 470mm, with graphene electrodes. They’re just five nanometers thick. For comparison, pluck a hair out of your head, and it’ll measure about 80,000 to 90,000 nanometers thick. Combine this incredible small size with flexibility, resistance to damage, and high performance attributes, and the significance becomes clear.

For wearables and clothes to get smarter, we need screens that bend and flex to match our bodies, and that’s where super thin and flexible graphene-enhanced substrates, encased in flexible materials like plastic, come into play. The research team’s next step is to try using a plastic substrate rather than glass, boosting flexibility, and increasing the screen’s toughness even further.

According to the head of the research team at South Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, which developed the electrodes alongside technology company Hanwha Techwin, its success means manufacturers can push ahead with the commercialization of graphene-based OLED panels.

Graphene has a reputation as a “wonder-material,” and it has found a range of uses in the technology industry, from batteries to filters that can turn saltwater into safe drinking water. Its use in displays has been investigated for several years, and various prototypes have been produced. Earlier this year, the first OLED electrodes made from graphene were created in Germany, at which time it was estimated we’d see the first products that incorporate them arrive in two or three years.

Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Razer Anzu smart glasses deal knocks $140 off the price tag
The Razer Anzu smart glasses placed on top of an open book.

While smartwatch deals have slowly claimed their place in the mainstream, smart glasses haven't turned out to be as popular. Gaming-focused brand Razer, however, is trying to renew interest in smart glasses with the Razer Anzu, which you can currently purchase from Best Buy at $140 off. If you'd like to give them a try, they're available for just $60, less than half their original price of $200.

There have been failures like the Google Glass and Snap Spectacles, and hopeful attempts like Oppo's Air Glass and Apple's secretive project, but the Razer Anzu smart glasses take a different spin on the wearable device by designing them for indoors. While they come with polarized sunglass lenses, their clear lenses are more useful with their blue light filter, which protects your eyes from screen glare to prevent discomfort even after hours of playing video games or working from home. The smart glasses, which also have a built-in omnidirectional microphone and speakers, may also be more comfortable to wear for an extended period of time compared to headsets and headphones. You'll enjoy smooth, stutter-free sound with the Razer Anzu's low latency audio with a 60ms Bluetooth connection.

Read more
The best Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 screen protectors
Person holding skateboard while wearing the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

A new, sleek design and digital bezel help the Galaxy Watch 4 stand out in the crowd and set it apart from the traditional style of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Whether you've picked up a 40mm model with a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED screen or opted for more screen real estate with the 44mm model, that stand-out design needs protecting from scratches and knocks. That means it's time for our picks of the best Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 screen protectors, with something to suit all budgets.

These screen protectors will all fit the 40mm or 44mm models of the Galaxy Watch 4. If you've got a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, these won't fit.
Spigen Glas.tR EZ Fit Screen Protector

Read more
How to remove watch links from the strap on your new watch
how to remove watch links fossil q explorist

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all smartwatch. If your wrists are on the smaller size, then you may find that your new smartwatch is dangling from your wrist and sliding up your forearm. No need to worry — it's a common problem. Chances are there are at least one too many chain links on the strap, but adjusting a metal-link smartwatch band isn't as difficult as you might think — and doesn't usually require a trip to the jewelers.

We'll take you through everything you need to know and the tools you'll need handy to remove links from your smartwatch so it fits snugly on your wrist.

Read more