Major breakthrough in fold-up screens made by UK scientists

7 Mar 2014

Flexible phone picture via Wikimedia Commons

A team of scientists from Surrey University in the UK claim to have made a significant breakthrough in the development of fold-up screen technology.

In their release on the findings, the team members, led by Dr Radu Sporea, say they have potentially found a way of harnessing the technology that has until now been plagued with unreliability issues, technological limits and high costs.

In conjunction with technology giant Philips, the team developed a simple circuit component called the Source-Gated-Transistor (SGT), which controls the electric current just as it enters a semiconductor, thereby decreasing the odds of circuit malfunction, which improves energy efficiency and keeps fabrication costs to a minimum. 

With this process, future gadgets and technology will be able to incorporate the SGT technology into a variety of uses.

“Such technologies may include ultra-lightweight and flexible gadgets which can be rolled up to save space when not in use, smart plasters, which, thinner than a human hair, can wirelessly monitor the health of the wearer, low-cost electronic shopping tags for instant checkout without the need for queueing, and disaster-prediction sensors, used on buildings in regions that are at high risk of natural disasters,” the team said.

Silva, director of the Advanced Technology Institute in the University of Surrey and a co-author of the work, said that by making these devices less complex and implicitly very affordable, we could see the next generation of gadgets become mainstream much quicker than we thought.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic