Corning has announced new ultra-slim flexible glass — glass, not plastic — that could lead sometime reasonably soon to things like curved LCD displays.
The Corning Willow Glass was announced at the propeller-head Society for Information Display’s Display Week trade show in Boston this week..
Corning Willow Glass will help enable thin, light and cost-efficient applications including today’s slim displays and the smart surfaces of the future. The thinness, strength, and flexibility of the glass has the potential to enable displays to be “wrapped” around a device or structure. As well, Corning Willow Glass can be processed at temperatures up to 500° C.
High temperature processing capability is essential for today’s high end displays, and is a processing condition that cannot be supported with polymer films. Corning Willow Glass will enable the industry to pursue high-temperature, continuous “roll-to-roll” processes – similar to how newsprint is produced – that have been impossible until now.
It will support thinner backplanes and color filters for both organic light emitting diodes (OLED) and liquid crystal displays (LCD) in high performance, portable devices such as smartphones, tablets, and notebook computers. This new, ultra-slim flexible glass will also help develop conformable (curved) displays for immersive viewing or mounting on non-flat surfaces.
Think display cabinets and other curved, clear surfaces to start getting ideas about this might be applied to larger digital screens. The continuous roll manufacturing process, however, suggests the glass will at first be skewed to small devices.