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Osram, DOE illuminates path towards white OLEDs

Posted: 18 Apr 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:osram opto semiconductors? u.s. department of energy? doe? organic emitting-emitting diode? oled?

Osram Opto Semiconductors Inc. recently announced the first fruits of its million dollar research grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with the release of new white organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) that promise to conserve energy in various commercial and residential lighting applications.

The research grant, amounting to $4.65 million, aims to support the U.S. government's national energy plan to introduce new technologies that would reduce costs, lower emissions and save energy based on white-OLED technologies.

A major LED maker in Asia, Osram, continues to focus its efforts on passive-matrix OLEDs for commercial and high-volume markets. The research grant, which covers a three-year period, aims to fund Osram in developing, fabricating and characterizing a 12-by-20-inch OLED white light prototype. For its commitment for the first year, Osram developed an advanced prototype light source based on two 2-by-3-inch white emitting tiles. Each tile in the module has a luminous efficacy of 7lm/W and a color-rendering index of 80 and operates at an average luminance of 250nits.

In a recent press release, Homer Antoniadis, DOE director and head of OLED product development at Osram said, "The DOE announcement is significant, not only because it represents the DOE's enormous commitment to the future of white OLEDs, but also because the project will result in various technological breakthroughs." Moreover Antoniadis stated that "As we explore the potential of polymers for solid-state applications, we also look at their compatibility and scalability over large areas. This research offers manufacturers a significant opportunity to reduce production costsa benefit to all in the lighting industry."

Polymer OLED technology is an efficient approach for scaling displays to large area requirements. The combination of a simpler device structure and a process operating at atmospheric pressure enables a host of benefits, including a competitive costing structure. Currently, the Malaysian-based LED maker is working closely with major polymer materials suppliers and various academic institutions to develop a polymer emissive technology needed to meet the DOE's project's performance milestones. Moreover, Osram said, its product development team is creating additional white-lighting modules like electronic control for powering the lighting source.

Next year, Osram is committed to produce its second breakthroughan advanced white-light prototype based on eight discrete 2-by-3-inch white-light devices fabricated on glass substrates. The OLED white-light source aims to have luminous effect of 20lm/W at 400nits and an operating half-life of 3,000h. The program funding ends in 2007 with the delivery of a white light prototype based on 32 tiles with the previously mentioned specifications.

- Rey Buan Jr.
Electronic Engineering Times-Asia

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