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OLEDs Respond to Touch

Photonics.com
Oct 2008
DRESDEN, Germany, Oct. 10, 2008 – Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Fraunhofer IPMS) will unveil the world’s first interactive touch controlled flat light source at this year's Plastic Electronic 2008 show in Berlin, Germany.

According to the group, OLEDs (organic light emitting diodes) are a promising lighting technology for future lighting solutions, and is the first real area light source technology in history. OLEDs overcome traditional restrictions by point source lighting technologies, such as light bulbs or LEDs, and their features could be a starting point for highly efficient homogenous area light sources.

Besides the area aspects, OLEDs show possibilities for structured light sources for signage, color-variable, transparent and flexible light sources, and because OLEDs are a cold light source, touching control is a safe operation. OLED_Touchscreen.jpg


OLED with touch function. Photo courtesy of Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems.

“The touch function generates a completely new feeling of light. It’s like magic: turn on the light simply by a hand movement,” said Jörg Amelung, head of business unit of organic materials and systems at the Fraunhofer IPMS.

The new breakthrough developed touch function requires no additional hardware, because the OLED itself is used to read out the touch signal. Switching and dimming the light can be easily controlled by a hand movement, which overcomes the traditional controller function. Typically, the implementation of touch functions requires additional touch foils on the top of the devices.

According to Fraunhofer IPMS, this OLED touch function can reduce cost while not compromising the OLED’s efficiency.

For more information, visit: www.ipms.fraunhofer.de



GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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