The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Taiwan has built a flexible 6-inch AMOLED display that is just 0.1mm thick, according to OLED-Info. The technology, named FlexUPD, reportedly enables a folding radius of 5cm or less while still being able to withstand repeated folding. In other words, it can continue to display images even when folded. The ITRI claims each display can be folded up to 15,000 times before showing signs of wear and tear.
FlexUPD's unique property is in its use of a "de-bonding layer" between the glass and flexible substrate, which sticks to the production glass substrate firmly during the entire fabrication process and is completely non-adhesive to the polyimide film stacked on top. This allows the active matrix backplane used for high-quality color displays to be flexible.
ITRI claims FlexUPD will prove to be the simplest and cheapest option for mass producing flexible displays. FlexUPD will be commercialized soon and companies are already announcing plans to use it for flexible e-reader products, although the institute has not yet provided pricing estimates or a production timeline.
The technology will be quite useful for gadgets such as the Amazon Kindle. Other large companies in the industry, including Sony and LG, are working on flexible e-paper displays as well. Nevertheless, we're still a long way off from the days when we can buy a newspaper built using a flexible and thin display and not have to worry about losing it on our way to work.