Ultrathin ‘E-Skin’ Turns Your Hand into an Electronic Display

Your smartphone could one day be replaced by an electronic display laminated to the back of your hand, if the inventors of a new ultrathin “e-skin” have their way.

For the first time, Japanese scientists have demonstrated a superflexible Electronic Skin (or e-skin) display, made from organic electronics, that doesn’t degrade when exposed to air. And crucially, the researchers used processes similar to the way organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays are manufactured for conventional smartphones and TVs.

Organic electronics, made from carbon-based polymers, hold huge promise for wearable devices because they are far lighter and more flexible than traditional electronics made from inorganic materials, such as silicon and gold. But OLEDs and organic light detectors normally degrade in air, so they typically need bulky protective coatings that decrease their flexibility.


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