A University of Texas at Dallas research team, together with international colleagues, has developed a method to make flexible micro LEDs that can be “folded, twisted, cut, and stuck” to almost anything, according to UT Dallas’ Dr. Moon Kim.
The next-gen electronics could reshape the future of wearable technology, the professor said in a news release.
“You can transfer it onto your clothing or even rubber—that was the main idea,” Dr. Kim said. “It can survive even if you wrinkle it. If you cut it, you can use half of the LED.”
Beyond clothing, the bendy LEDs offer a broad range of use cases from flexible lighting to biomedical devices. The small size opens up more possibilities, such as in smart watches.
UTD’s research colleagues in South Korea put the invention to the test by adhering the next-gen LEDs to curved surfaces and other materials that were later twisted, bent, and even crumpled. In one demo, the team attached a LED to a LEGO mini-figure. The outcome? According to Dr. Kim, the quality nor the electronic properties of the LED are affected by bending or cutting.
The team’s research was published in Science Advances in June.
Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.
Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.