Research into new light source for general illumination

Wednesday, 06 September, 2006

Osram is intensifying its research and development work on organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) with the aim of applying this technology also to general illumination.

The aim is that OLEDs will be used in future not only in mobile terminals such as MP3 players and mobile phones but also as extremely thin light sources with large surface areas. OLEDs could be used for signage and information systems.

In the medium term, OLEDs will pave the way for applications that up to now have been impossible. For example, they could be produced on transparent substrates or substrates with various contours or even flexible substrates; they may even one day be used as illuminated wallpaper or for low-profile high-definition wall-mounted screens.

White light is the main type of light for room lighting, so this is the main focus for research and development. Initial research findings indicate a luminous efficacy for white OLED elements of up to 25 1m/W with an appropriate current. Even at brightness levels that are matched to general lighting applications, these OLED elements achieve values of 1m/W.

They are therefore already ahead of conventional light bulbs (12 1m/W) and almost on a par with halogen lamps.

These values have been achieved thanks to a sequence of organic layers that produce much better luminous efficacy compared with previous versions.

Research and development work has been brought together in Regensburg. It focuses on the design and implementation of specific device architectures for OLEDs, on increasing their efficiency and lifespan and on scaling up to large areas. Experts are also involved in creating the right conditions for high-volume production.

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