Germany - OSRAM Opto Semiconductors ( http://www.osram-os.com ) is spearheading the effort to develop cost-effective volume production methods for OLEDs under the CombOLED project, a European funded research and development project that was conceived to combine new device structures, advantageous manufacturing approaches and less complex materials with the aim to achieve cost effective OLED lighting solutions.
OLEDs are ultra-thin, super-light, impressively bright and consume very little energy. Experts anticipate that the technology will become a major force in general lighting in a market that will be worth billions of Euros by 2015.
These flat light sources have excellent technical characteristics: they last more than 10,000 hours, offer high luminance (1000 cd/m²) and have an efficiency of 40 to 60 lm/W. Before OLEDs can become widely used in mass markets, such as general lighting applications, the industry must first develop cost-effective production techniques.
“The objective of the CombOLED project, which is being funded by the EU and coordinated by OSRAM, is to create the necessary conditions for introducing the new light sources into lighting applications,” said Bernhard Stapp,
Head of Solid State Lighting at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors.
This includes methods for cost-effective printing of new component architectures for large-format transparent light sources. As an innovation driver in the LED market and a pioneer in the mass production of semiconductor components, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors is bringing valuable know-how to the EU project.
OLED light sources are complementary to the vast majority of existing light sources. Their major strengths shine where their special properties as flat light sources with a high quality of light are valued, such as in lighting canopies, light partitions and windows that become light sources themselves after sundown.
With their pleasant diffused light, OLEDs will soon be appearing in the premium design segment. Architecture and effect lighting and the general lighting market will follow as soon as OLEDs can be manufactured in large quantities at reasonable cost and are scalable.