Revolutionary light emitting wallpaper could replace lightbulbs in two years whilst significantly reducing carbon emissions suggest recent claims.
The OLED materials, which are still being developed by UK start-up company LOMOX Ltd can be coated onto a thin film and used to cover walls creating light emitting wallpaper which could potentially make the traditional light bulb redundant.
Lighting is a major producer of carbon emissions and in buildings alone accounts for around a sixth of total UK electricity use. 73% is used in industrial and commercial applications, with the balance in domestic applications. OLED technology could reduce this figure as it has the potential to produce low-cost ultra-efficient lighting for a wide range of applications.
Operating lifetime has traditionally been a problem with OLEDs, but LOMOX has found a way to achieve significantly longer lifetimes than fluorescent lamps with the use of holographically-generated nanostructures to eliminate the 50% loss of light emission, which currently occur with OLEDs. Previous work has shown that reactive mesogen (i.e., polymerisable liquid crystal) OLED emitter materials can be photo-patterned into multicoloured display pixels with no loss in light output due to the photo-patterning process. The technology will also be more efficient (producing 150 lumens/watt) as it only emits light along one axis. OLEDs can produce a more natural looking light than other forms of lighting.
The work is being funded with a £454k grant from the Carbon Trust, a UK government funded organization working with companies to reduce carbon emissions.
The Carbon Trust is currently on the lookout for other technologies with significant carbon saving potential to receive up to £500k of grant funding through its Applied Research scheme. It has recently launched an open call for applications, which will close on 18th February 2010. Applications can be made at www.carbontrust.co.uk/appliedresearch.
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