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FOLED (flexible organic light emitting device)

In display technology, FOLED (flexible organic light emitting device) is an organic light emitting device (OLED) built on a flexible base material, such as clear plastic film or reflective metal foil, instead of the usual glass base. FOLED displays can be rolled up, folded, or worn as part of a wearable computer. The devices are said to be lighter, more durable, and less expensive to produce than the traditional glass-based alternatives.

FOLED's light-weight base materials significantly decrease the overall weight of a screen. This capacity makes FOLED displays especially useful for portable devices, such as laptop computers and other displays where weight is a consideration, such as large wall-mounted screens. Furthermore, a FOLED display is less prone to breakage than a glass-based display and compared to the silicon-based LCD displays used for small displays and flat-screen monitors, much less expensive to produce.

Time Magazine named Universal Display Corporation (UDC)'s rollable FOLED wireless monitor prototype one of the best 10 envionmentally-friendly technologies for 2002. UDC is working on such FOLED-based products as rollable, refreshable electronic newspapers and video screens embedded in car windshields, walls, windows, and office partitions. According to UDC VP Janice Mahon, we could see such products on the market within five years.

FOLEDs are among a number of organic LED variations in development. UDC is also developing TOLED (transparent OLED), PHOLED (phosphorescent OLED), and SOLED (stacked OLED) technologies.

This was last updated in September 2005

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