White OLED Efficiency Breakthrough Made

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NISKAYUNA, N.Y. & CLEVELAND, July 21, 2010 — A team of scientists from General Electric and Konica Minolta demonstrated illumination-quality white OLEDs using "solution-coatable" materials essential for producing the devices at a low cost. The achievement is a major breakthrough that brings the companies closer to commercializing high-efficiency organic LED (OLED) lighting devices.

Anil Duggal, GE's OLED lighting technology leader, announced the efficiency milestone this week during a presentation at the International Symposium on the Science and Technology of Light Sources being held in Eindhoven, Netherlands. GE Researchers on the project included those from GE Global Research, the company's technology deevlopment arm. 

The GE-Konica Minolta 56 lumens-per-watt efficiency achievement proves that flexible, white OLED lighting devices can be made at low cost using ''solution-coatable'' materials. (Image: Business Wire)

"GE and KM have done what many in the OLED research community thought was not possible," said Duggal. “We have produced high-performance white OLED lighting devices with a commercially viable lifetime using ‘solution coating’ rather than ‘vacuum coating’ processes. This allows us to make use of the high volume roll-to-roll manufacturing infrastructure that already has been perfected in the printing industry.”

Roll-to-roll processing is key to making OLEDs commercially viable for general lighting applications. Solution, or wet coating, is the highest throughput manufacturing method for coating the organic layers that are the essence of an OLED lighting device.

“This type of coating is ideally suited for roll-to-roll processing and critical to enabling the production of OLEDs at high speeds,” said John Strainic, global product general manager for GE Lighting, the business that will commercialize GE OLEDs. “In simple terms, this latest achievement means we’re starting to see the OLED light at the end of the tunnel.”

Researchers and product development teams from GE and KM have been working together on OLED technology since 2007. GE’s technology relationship with the imaging company has helped to accelerate the development of OLED lighting technology.

In addition to hitting a new efficiency milestone, the teams continue to make steady progress in the lifetime and lighting quality of OLED lighting devices produced from roll-to-roll manufacturing.

The two companies have plans to introduce their first flexible OLED lighting product in 2011.

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Published: July 2010
AmericasAnil DuggalConsumerGE Global ResearchGeneral Electricgneral lightinggreen photonicsillumination qualityindustrialInternational Symposium on the Science and Technology of LIght SourcesJohn StrainicKonica MinoltaLight SourcesNetherlandsNew YorkOhioprinting industryResearch & Technologyroll-to-roll processingsolution-coatablevacuum coatingwhite OLEDLEDs

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