Samsung Electronics announced the results of research on the next-generation elastic display and sensor technology that changes according to the movement of skin. This is evaluated as having proven the commercialization possibility of 'stretchable' devices that are applicable to semiconductor process.
On the June 6, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology announced that it has presented the results of a 'study on the development of stretchable sensor and OLED display' that attaches to human skin and extends and contracts according to body movement without declining performance.
In the study, the research team integrated a stretchable OLED display and a photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor into one device and created a 'stretchable electronic skin' form factor. By changing the composition and structure of 'elastomer', a polymer compound with excellent elasticity and resilience, the research team applied it to stretchable OLED displays and optical blood flow sensor substrates.
The research team attached the integrated form factor as an electronic skinto the inside of the wrist, where the pulse artery (radial artery) is located. The electronic skin did not deteriorate in performance even when the skin was deformed up to 30% by moving the wrist. Moreover, the team confirmed that the OLED display and the optical blood flow sensor operated stably even if the length was increased repeatedly 1000 times. The optical blood flow sensor extracted a heart rate signal that was 2.4 times higher than that of a fixed silicon sensor when the wrist was moved. The stretchable sensor adheres firmly to the skin, so it is less loud than other sensors and can measure heart rate with high sensitivity.
The study results proved the industry's first possibility of commercializing stretchable devices, because they can be applied to the semiconductor process.
Researcher Young-Jun Yoon said, “The advantage of sensors and displays with high ‘stretchability’ to extend and contract is that it has an excellent sense of unity with the actual human skin, so it can measure biometric information for a long time without restrictions in daily life, such as sleep and exercise. These devices will have great application potential for not only patients with diseases but also the public and infantsas a wearable healthcare product.”
Researcher Jong-won Jeong added that, “In the future, we will expand to electronic skin heart rate sensors as well as stretchable sensors and high-resolution freeform displays that can monitor various bio-signals such as oxygen saturation, electromyography, and blood pressure.”
The research results were published on June 4 (US time) in the world-renowned academic journal 'Science Advances'.
By Dong-jun Kwon, staff reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org)