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Flexible OLEDs with adjustable colors give options to lighting designers

Flexible OLEDs with adjustable colors give options to lighting designers

Sep 27, 2017: The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, one of the leading R&D partners for surface technologies and organic electronics, specializes in the development and fabrication of OLED modules with unconventional properties for specific client designs. The Institute showcased flexible adjustable-color OLEDs at ISAL 2017  in Darmstadt, Germany.

With their unique characteristics like bendabilty, segmentation, transparency, and their nearly unlimited range of shapes, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) facilitate diverse new design opportunities by virtue of their being efficient areal lighting sources fabricated on flexible substrates.

In 2015, scientists of the Fraunhofer FEP were successful for the first time in processing adjustable-color OLEDs on rigid substrates. This facilitated the extension of the application spectrum of OLEDs, such as for integration into vehicle interiors where the lighting levels should be controllable as a function of the time of day. Imagine employment as ambient or accent illumination, such as for lighting in museums and exhibitions, where the adjustability of color from just a single lighting component can present the works exhibited in different colors of light.

Just two years later, the next big development goal has now been reached: the Fraunhofer FEP now offers OLED emission systems featuring an adjustable color range integrated on flexible substrates. These types of OLED modules are able to switch the emitted color between two different color temperatures. In this way, a yellow-blue bi-color emission system can not only be switched between the pure emission colors of yellow and blue, but white light can also be generated through simultaneous activation of both colors.

The integration of adjustable-color OLEDs on flexible substrates brings their employment on curved surfaces in vehicle interiors such as roofs and curved fixtures into the realm of the tangible. In the meanwhile, the range of choice for substrates has also been broadened. Flexible OLEDs can be fabricated on metal and plastic films just as they can be on ultra-thin glass.

Claudia Keibler, head of the Sheet-to-Sheet Organic Technology department at Fraunhofer FEP welcomes you: “I am looking forward to being able to personally discuss with conference visitors the astonishing opportunities of flexible OLEDs right on site. Our technological know-how and the features of our fab facility allow us not only to discuss the wishes of interested visitors, but also produce OLED samples afterwards.”

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