Abstract

We demonstrate mechanically flexible, organic light-emitting devices (OLED’s) based on the nonpolymetric thin-film materials tris-(8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminum (Alq<sub>3</sub>) and N, N<sup>?</sup> -diphenyl- N, N<sup>?</sup> -bis(3-methylphenyl)1- 1<sup>?</sup> biphenyl-4, 4<sup>?</sup> diamine (TPD). The single heterostructure is vacuum deposited upon a transparent, lightweight, thin plastic substrate precoated with a transparent, conducting indium tin oxide thin film. The flexible OLED performance is comparable with that of conventional OLED’s deposited upon glass substrates and does not deteriorate after repeated bending. The large-area (~1 - cm><sup>2</sup>) devices can be bent without failure even after a permanent fold occurs if they are on the convex substrate surface or over a bend radius of ~0.5>cm if they are on the concave surface. Such devices are useful for ultralightweight, flexible, and comfortable full-color flat panel displays.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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