Universal Display delivers flexible OLED display prototype with IR capabilities to U.S. Army

Engineers at Universal Display Corp. in Ewing, N.J., are demonstrating a prototype flexible OLED—organic light emitting diode—display with infrared emission for nighttime use under contract with the U.S. Army.

Jul 1st, 2008

By John McHale

EWING, N.J.—Engineers at Universal Display Corp. in Ewing, N.J., are demonstrating a prototype flexible OLED—organic light emitting diode—display with infrared emission for nighttime use under contract with the U.S. Army.

The prototype demonstrates a flexible OLED display with visible green emission for daytime operation and infrared (IR) emission for use in the dark, says Janice Mahon, vice president of technology commercialization at Universal Display.

Universal Display developed the prototype through a two-phase Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with the Army. The technology is to help soldiers view one display in two modes.

The OLED display prototype provides green-color emission for daylight use with Universal Display’s phosphorescent OLED (PHOLED). At night, covert operations soldiers can switch the display to an IR-emission mode that can be detected only with specialized night-vision goggles.

The active-matrix OLED prototype employs visible-emission and IR-emitting PHOLED materials from Universal Display and its partners at the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan.

Compared to liquid crystal displays (LCDs), OLEDs are thinner, better looking, and can consume less power than comparable LCDs and conventional fluorescent OLEDs, Universal Display officials say.

OLED displays can be built on flexible materials such as plastic or metal foil to create bendable displays and lights. Foil has enhanced thermal and mechanical durability and potentially lower cost, compared to today’s flexible plastic substrates, company officials say.

“The prototype was developed in a wrist-mounted form factor,” Mahon says. “This was done through our existing relationship with the Army.”

A senior technologist for the Army saw “our pen display, which rolls out” like a scroll from a pen form factor and “he says ‘our soldiers should have those!’” Mahon declined to comment on some of the specific requirements the Army set. “The military has a specific wavelength requirement that I can’t discuss, but we were able to meet those requirements.”

Universal Displays delivered the prototype to experts at the Army Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, N.J. This project complements flexible display development at the Army’s Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University in Phoenix, of which Universal Display is a member.

For additional information, visit www.universaldisplay.com.

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