Researchers light up Europe with LEDs

January 17, 2012
Researchers light up Europe with LEDs

Novel light-source technology just got a big boost in Europe thanks to the ('Organic LED (light-emitting diode) lighting in European dimensions') project which tackled the challenge to develop the techniques needed to form the basis for efficient OLED applications for the European general lighting industry. The researchers have successfully increased the energy efficiency and lifetime of organic LEDs for large-area lighting applications.

Led by Philips Technologie GmbH in Germany, the team has been working on OLEDs for the last three years. Over this 36-month period, the researchers resolved technical quirks and probed the acceptance levels and preferences of end users concerning this new . They also developed a large-area luminaire consisting of 9 OLED tiles of 33 x 33 square centimetres each.

The aims and objectives of the study were to boost the luminous efficacy, strengthen the lifetime, upscale the light-emitting area, optimise processes to slash production costs, and standardise measurement based on application research.

The team succeeded in demonstrating high-efficiency OLEDs based on Novaled PIN OLED technology and out-coupling materials showing 60 lumens per watt (lm/W) which are more efficient than energy-saving lamps. They also secured long-lifetime OLEDs with Novaled know-how, showing 100 000 hours comparable to inorganic LED lifetime. The researchers performed perception case studies on taste and acceptance of OLEDs as light source, and they carried out industrialisation scenarios and cost calculation of production processes with a particular focus on cost-efficient technologies like screen-printing for substrate structuring. And they succeeded in devising standardisation of measurement procedures for OLEDs, which currently serve as the basis for work of the International Commission on Illumination (CIE).

'The research consortium has played a vital part in ensuring that Europe will play a leading role in OLED technology for lighting applications also in the future,' says Dr Stefan Grabowski, senior scientist at Philips Research Laboratories in Aachen.

Commenting on the results of the project, Dr Karsten Diekmann of OSRAM GmbH in Germany says: 'The results of will contribute to further increase the acceptance of OLED technology. In the project we gained a better understanding of end-user preferences, a better comparability through standardised measurement procedures, and better OLEDs.'

For his part, Dr. Christian May, the head of Business Unit OLED Lighting says: 'The work to achieve the challenging goals of the OLED project brought us to a higher level of our COMEDD pilot process line. We are really proud of the 33 x 33 cm2 large OLED panels, which are one of the largest worldwide and made at our pilot process line.'

OLEDs convert current into light, but are different from inorganic LEDs because they emit over a large area. The thickness of the light-emitting area is just around 400 nanometres, which is about 100 times thinner than a human hair.

The partners are from Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria and the United Kingdom.

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5 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2012
Two problems. 60 lm/W is not better than CFLs, and it's way worse than regular fluorescent tubes. Color rendering index? Not mentioned - probably awful.

How did they measure 100,000 hours?
not rated yet Jan 17, 2012
60 lm/W is not better than CFLs
Considering that OLEDs are relatively new compared to CFL that's already pretty good.

And this:
The thickness of the light-emitting area is just around 400 nanometres

Certainly beats out CFLs any day and opens up all kinds of new lighting schemes (walls, floors, furniture, ... )

I could imagine that producing such thin films will, if we find a roll-on procss, be vastly cheaper than producing CFLs. Possibly also less hazardous for the environment.

Can't wait till I can furnish my home Tron style.

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