Stretchable OLEDs Mean Stretchy Phones?

You know, a phone that can shrink or expand at will sounds like a bad idea. A cellphone doesn’t need to pulsate. But UCLA researchers are laying the groundwork for it anyway.

The basic problem with stretchable, or really flexible, electronics is making a circuit that can contort without breaking. Carbon nanotubes seem ideal, but tended not to bond with plastic or to slip past each other. They got around this by attaching the nanotubes to glass, then filling everything with a polymer that dried to a flexible plastic.

In short, the good people at UCLA invented a big glowing stretchy circuit thing that may soon be in cellphones. But we can guarantee it’s going to show up elsewhere. Probably in products you hide in your nightstand.

[ via the Reed Richards fans at Technology Review ]