General Electric have announced that they have achieved 56 lumens-per-watt efficiency, proving that flexible, white OLED lighting devices can be made at low cost using "solution-coatable" materials.
General Electric and Konica Minolta scientists who have achieved the major breakthrough plan to manufacture OLEDs using high-speed, roll-to-roll processes rather than the vacuum-based batch processes used by companies in the OLED display industry.
Roll-to-roll processing is key to making OLEDs commercially viable for general lighting applications. Solution, or wet coating, is the highest throughput manufacturing method for coating the organic layers that are the essence of an OLED lighting device.
"GE and KM have done what many in the OLED research community thought was not possible," noted Anil Duggal, GE's OLED lighting technology leader. "We have produced high-performance white OLED lighting devices with a commercially viable lifetime using 'solution coating' rather than 'vacuum coating' processes. This allows us to make use of the high volume roll-to-roll manufacturing infrastructure that already has been perfected in the printing industry."
John Strainic, global product general manager for GE Lighting, the business that will commercialize GE OLEDs, added, "This type of coating is ideally suited for roll-to-roll processing and critical to enabling the production of OLEDs at high speeds. In simple terms, this latest achievement means we're starting to see the OLED light at the end of the tunnel."
Researchers and product development teams from GE and KM have been working together on OLED technology since 2007. In addition to hitting a new efficiency milestone, the teams continue to make steady progress in the lifetime and lighting quality of OLED lighting devices produced from roll-to-roll manufacturing.
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