Project Acronym ENAB-SPOLED
Project Title Enabling solution processing for more costeffective large area thin OLED lighting panels and luminaires
Project Start Date 01/04/2013
Project Duration 24 months
Partners’ names and countries Novaled GmbH, Germany
Cambridge Display Technology, UK
Durham University, UK
Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Polymer, Germany
Tridonic GmbH, Germany
Zumtobel, Austria

Project Coordinator:

Name: Falk Löser

Organization: Novaled GmbH

E-mail: falk.loeser@novaled.com

While OLED gains importance in the display market, OLED lighting is in its infancy. In order to be a competitive contender for lighting applications, OLED lighting must be both high efficiency and low cost. At present, the highest efficiency OLED lighting tiles use small molecule evaporated materials. Replacing some or all of these with solution processed alternatives has excellent potential to reduce costs and increase throughput on a large area scale (as targeted in the mid-term OLAE 2009 lighting road map (OLAE SRA IND GB 18 09 09 VS 1.18)). In order to realise this potential, we will design a high efficiency, mainly solution processed polymer OLED (P-OLED) lighting tile, developing injection and transport layer materials, device structure and processing techniques to reduce production costs whilst maintaining or enhancing performance.

A fully solution processed OLED offers further cost reduction potential and will also be addressed within that project. It furthermore increases material utilization addressing the environmental aspect. It is equally as important to consider the OLED integration into modules and luminaire design and production which also involves low cost electronics for such large area devices.

Regarding electronic drivers (constant current) and converters (power grid transformation), we want to integrate the driver near the lighting element to improve efficacy and controls for the lighting element. Based on this trend the lamp management unit requires the same form factor as the lighting element. Therefore external drivers which are not more than 5 mm thick will be developed. Furthermore, outcoupling and light shaping elements will be included at module level to increase the amount of light used for the application. Finally, the luminaire will detect the absence of persons and dim or switch off the light source accordingly.

The project achieved the following results:

Solution processable doped hole and electron transport layers using materials from Novaled and Fraunhofer IAP were developed.

Solution processed OLEDs based on CDT polymers have achieved a performance within 90% of the project target of 60lm/W and a 50% lifetime of 5000h on 5x5cm² panels.

A low cost ITO free anode with comparable performance to glass has been developed at CDT and as well as a process to enable slot die coating of all the solution processed layers. The scalability of the low cost anode and low cost slot die coater printing method has been demonstrated, with comparable performance to test cells on 5x5cm2 panels.

A thin flexible and efficient driver concept for contacting the OLED panels was developed by Tridonic.

In the last project phase the results will be transferred to panels of the size of 15x5cm.

These panels will be integrated with drivers and assembled into a luminaire with advanced sensing and control options.