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Transparent color-tunable OLED lighting panels developed

Transparent color-tunable OLED lighting panels developed

August 21, 2015: Fraunhofer Institute, Europe?s largest application-oriented research organization, has developed new color-tunable transparent OLED lighting panels. Color tunability is a very desirable feature as it gives several options to the lighting designers.

Fraunhofer used a stacked approach, which enabled it to make the panels color-tunable as well as transparent, and in any shape. These panels use blue and yellow OLED emitters on top of the each other.

However, Fraunhofer found a drawback of this technology, that is, it limits the size of the OLED, currently at about 80 mm diameter due to the many transparent electrodes incorporated in the device.

These color-tunable transparent OLED lighting panels were developed under the project LOIGB (LED and OLED integration into glass and plastic composites for the use in lighting systems for railway and further applications).

The objective of the project was to develop and integrate large-area color variable OLED modules, where light colors like red, green and blue (RGB) that are required to achieve white light, can be controlled separately. This also helps to to generate any color, including white, with the same OLED module.

OLED modules usually have a diameter of 55 mm, and an light area of 42 mm. They are encapsulated with thin film, which helps the lamination of OLED modules in glass composites possible.

This type of OLED panels can be used as the light source in a laminated glass sheet which are used as baggage compartment in trains. SBF Spezialleuchten GmbH, which is the coordinator of the project, is working on it to make these solutions possible.

?The possibilities for application of the results, which are achieved within the project, are extraordinarily versatile?, says project manager Jan Hesse. ?In addition to the use in general lighting, e.g. in windows, wall elements or wallpapers, the color variable OLEDs are as well suitable for the interior vehicle lighting ? especially for the ambient or accent lighting ? in the automotive and rail vehicle industry,? he added.

The aviation industry has also shown keen interest in using this technology to light inside the aircraft cabin.

The results of the project will help the scientists at Fraunhofer FEP to carry out further research. Currently, they are working on a process to achieve higher yield at the same time reduce manufacturing costs; also to make possible to transfer to roll-to-roll system for flexible OLED. Moreover, the intuitive control of such lighting elements will become a priority. Compared to conventional light sources (on?/?off), the complex functionality (dimmability, color variation and dynamization through segments) requires new intuitive control possibilities. So, a simple control is necessary to achieve market acceptance of this innovative lighting technology.

More for info: http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/research-topics/2015-international-year-of-the-light/led-oled.html

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