February 27, 2019

Hybrid OLED Creates Innovative and Functional Luminous Surfaces

Up until now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLEDs) integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.

The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in  the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the  development of technologies and processes for organic electronics and  component integration. The team at the design company of EMDE  development of light GmbH also has many years of experience with the new  organic light-emitting diode light (OLED), including development of the  world's first OLED luminaire series. OLEDs cannot only emit colored and  wide area light, but they themselves are also extremely low-profile and  flexible, allowing them to be integrated into many types and shapes of  surfaces. They can be even be designed to be transparent and dimmable.  To demonstrate the sheer endless potential for employing OLEDs, the  designers at EMDE are now integrating flexible OLEDs for the first time  into a motorcycle jacket. Used as a material for clothing, OLEDs not  only can trigger completely new aesthetic trends, they can also provide  active illumination instead of just limited reflectance. This enhanced  visibility from all angles means the wearer can be seen more clearly,  increasing rider safety.

This is made possible by fabricating the OLEDs on flexible substrates  such as plastic films and connecting them to conductive threading for  their supply of electrical power. Together with the HOLST Center in  Eindhoven, the Fraunhofer FEP in Dresden, Germany, has now for the first  time implemented an extended approach of the technology for the OLED on  the joint pilot line service LYTEUS within the EU-funded project  PI-SCALE – a hybrid OLED.

Claudia Keibler-Willner, head of department at the Fraunhofer FEP,  explains: “We have taken a major step forward in economical fabrication processes for OLEDs. The results are impressive: the OLED shines very  uniformly. The use of the roll-to-roll process also promises  considerable cost reductions for future components. By combining printed  and vaporized layers, process throughput and production speed can be  increased up to 100 times.”

Clear advantages for designers result – infinitely long materials with  practically unrestricted dimensions and configurations can be created.  The only limitation is the 30 cm roll width of the substrate material.  Thomas Emde of EMDE development of light GmbH looks ahead: “We are very  pleased to present a first design demonstrator using the hybrid OLEDs  from the EU project PI-SCALE at LOPEC 2019. After examining the first  samples, we decided on a prototype that would combine imagination with a  practical application. We exhibit a few meters of the hybrid OLED in  its raw form from the roll as a "pure" material component. Its  transformation into a future product is illustrated through the example  of our eyecatcher motorcycle jacket with luminous, integrated, flexible  OLEDs. This will suggest the potential of OLEDs as an innovative surface  material for interior design and product applications, fashion and  textile designs, and architectural and signage uses.”

The Fraunhofer FEP and EMDE teams want to tackle challenges of  fabrication and integration of OLEDs with different surfaces jointly in  the future and are open to further development projects with industrial  partners.

The exhibits can be seen during LOPEC 2019 in Munich, Germany from March  19-21, 2019 at Hall B0, booth no. 407 of the Fraunhofer FEP and the  OE-A competition area. In addition, the aforementioned design  demonstrator from EMDE as well as other design kits from Fraunhofer FEP  have been submitted to this year's OE-A Competition.

Source of press release: https://www.novuslight.com/hybrid-oled-creates-innovative-and-functional-luminous-surfaces_N9031.html