Korean researchers develop fluorine-based polyimide film

A May edition of Advanced Functional Materials, in which Dr. Hong Sung-woo’s research results were published on the cover. (Korea Institute of Production Technology)

Researchers from the Korea Institute of Production Technology said on Wednesday they had successfully developed a fluorine-based polyimide film, opening up scope to produce the material without having to rely on imports from Japan. Film is a crucial part of foldable screens because it gets rid of creases when folded. It has been under Japanese government export control since 2019, which has panicked Korean manufacturers due to their heavy reliance on items produced in the neighboring country.

“We paid attention to fluorine-based polyimide, as it is a key material for the development of next-generation displays. Based on the results, we want to focus on developing materials that can be applied to all products using flexible screens,” said Hong Sung-woo, who led the team that developed the film.

Flexible optical films, produced using polyimide engineering plastics, prevent foldable displays from breaking, cracking and wrinkling.

Existing films have the fatal drawback of yellowing of the screens, caused by the transfer of electrons which easily absorb light in a low wavelength range. But the new polyimide film developed by Hong’s team is more elastic and has no problem with screens yellowing, the researchers said.

The film did not break, crack or wrinkle even after bending the screen more than 200,000 times, he added.

The research results appeared on the cover of a May issue of Advanced Functional Materials, a weekly academic materials journal.

By Lee Yoon-Seo (y[email protected])