There is indeed a cool breakthrough in OLED efficiency, but we hear about the "breakthroughs" so often that we kind of want to say, "Bring it already!" Despite the mini fit of frustration and sarcasm, we can't deny a bit of giddiness behind the possibility that a new technology could reduce OLED energy consumption by (a super duper) 75%.

According to OLED Info, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has figured out a way to use surface plasmon. Brace yourself for a little geek-speak. Surface plasmon is, essentially, fluctuation in the electron density at the boundary of two materials. The interaction between the light emitting layer in OLEDs and surface plasmons affect efficiency. So, researchers tweaked the process and were able to squeeze out a 75% higher efficiency rate without sacrificing the intensity of the lighting.

Researchers expect the new findings will go far in improving OLED technologies, especially for flexible OLEDs. Indeed, if they keep making improvements at this rate, next thing we know we'll be adding power to the grid every time we flip on an OLED device.



A collaboration between Lunar Energy and Korean Midland Power Co (KOMIPO), and would create a colossal 300-turbine field in the Wando Hoenggan Water Way off the South Korean coast by 2015, providing 300MW of renewable energy, enough to power 200,000 homes.

In a landmark agreement signed by the Lunar Energy, Britain’s leading tidal power company, and Korean Midland Power Co (KOMIPO), the scheme will harness underwater turbines that experts say could make the proposed £15 billion Severn Barrage obsolete. The £500 million scheme will use power from fast-moving tidal streams, caused by rising and falling tides, to turn a field of 300 60ft-high tidal turbines on the sea floor.

60ft-high tidal turbines will be positioned in deep ocean water, each measuring 11.5 meters in diameter, with a 2,500 ton frame containing a pump, generator, motor and electronics. The research and feasibility study will be completed by July 2008; and 1MW pilot plant would be installed by March 2009 to evaluate the environmental impact before the full-blown project is allowed. The ecological impacts of this scheme are expected to be less than tidal barrages, which heavily alter the existing ecosystems, destroy bird habitats, and hinder the passage of migratory fish such as salmon, shad and eels.


LG Display has announced its development of a newspaper-size flexible e-paper. The 19-inch wide (250x400mm) flexible e-paper is almost as big as a page of A3 sized newspaper. The product is optimized for an e-newspaper and able to convey the feeling of reading an actual newspaper. Additionally, as the product measures 0.3 millimeters thin, the e-paper weighs just 130 grams despite its 19-inch size.

LG Display arranged TFT on metal foil rather than glass substrate, allowing the e-paper display to recover its original shape after being bent. The use of a metal foil substrate makes the e-paper both flexible and durable while maintaining display qualities. In particular, LG Display applied GIP (gate-in-panel) technology which integrates the gate driver IC onto the panel. This improves its flexibility by removing driver ICs which are attached to the side of panel and hinder the bending of the display.

CTO and executive VP of LG Display, In Jae Chung said, "Our development of the world's largest flexible display has opened up a new market in the next-generation display sector of e-paper. As the e-paper market is growing at a rapid pace, LG Display will continue to deliver new value to customers and the market through industry-leading technologies and differentiated products."

Meanwhile LG Display plans to launch mass production of an 11.5-inch flexible e-paper display in the first half of 2010.

LG Display cited DisplaySearch saying that the e-book market will grow from approximately US$370 million in 2009 to US$1.2 billion in 2011 and to US$1.73 billion in 2015.

The film-like electrodes taped to this person's arm transmit electromagnetic waves through their skin

Human skin is apparently a very energy-efficient conduit for transmitting data. A recent experiment achieved a rate of 10 megabits per second, which may put my Internet connection to shame. The experiment used small, flexible electrodes and took place at Korea University in Seoul, New Scientist reports.

The finding may lead to a new generation of medical devices that can monitor blood sugar or electrical activity in the heart. Such devices cut energy needs for a monitoring network by about 90 percent compared to wireless devices running on batteries.

South Korean researchers placed electrodes about 12 inches (30 centimeters) apart on a person's arm, and found that the low-frequency electromagnetic waves travel easily through the skin without any outside interference.

This may not seem all that surprising coming from South Korea, known as perhaps one of the most wired places on Earth for Internet. But we can't help but wonder if the researchers hadn't been watching some Battlestar Galactica goodness, given the tendency for a certain Cylon (played by Grace Park) to plug data cables into her arm for a bit of computer-on-computer consultation -- not that we're talking about brains communicating directly with devices just yet.

Korea University

Have you ever thought about the earth 30th century?

Nowdays, earth has many problem because of reckless development. For this reason, I thought of earth in the future and I designed my artistic vision of it in the 30th century. This design is little bit extreme, but consider structure an aesthectic shape.

Sound-driven power generation using nanogenerators based on piezoelectric ZnO nanowires has been demonstrated. Systematic investigations on the power-generating performance of sound-driven nanogenerators clearly support that the measured output voltage originated from the sound-driven nanogenerator. This study shows that sound can be one of promising energy sources when using highly efficient nanogenerators based on piezoelectric nanowires.

In this talk, fully transparent, flexible (TF) charge generating piezoelectric nanodevices that are operated by external mechanical forces will be presented. By controlling the density of the seed layer for ZnO nanorod growth, transparent ZnO nanorod arrays were grown on TF indium tin oxide (ITO)/polyether sulfone (PES) films, and a TF conductive electrode was stacked on the ZnO nanorods. The resulting integrated TF nanodevice (having transparency exceeding 70 %) generated a noticeable current when it was pushed by application of an external load. The output current density was clearly dependent on the force applied. Furthermore, the output current density depended strongly on the morphology and the work function of the top electrode. A ZnO nanodevice with an embossed PdAu top electrode gave the highest output current density, of approximately 10 mA/cm2 at a load of 0.9 kgf. When a TF ITO/PES thin film with no corrugations was applied to the top electrode of the integrated nanodevice, the output current density fell to 1 mA/cm2; this is still sufficient for use as a self-powered pressure sensor. Our TF piezoelectric charge generator has clear potential for use in self-powered applications such as touch sensors or robot skins.

Sang-Woo Kim Professor
School of Materials Science& Engineering,
Sungkyunkwan University

Advanced Materials

SOS 2008-2009 – Haptic social network
With Carnaven Chiu, Xiao Xiao, and Pei-Yu (Peggy) Chi

Stress OutSourced (SOS) is a peer-to-peer network that allows anonymous users to send each other therapeutic massages to relieve stress. By applying the emerging concept of crowdsourcing to haptic therapy, SOS brings physical and affective dimensions to our already networked lifestyle while preserving the privacy of its members. SOS is an exploration and illustration of a new field of haptic social networking.

Key Won Chung

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