Fraunhofer COMEDD is looking to advance flexible OLED lighting device lifetime, and towards that goal the German institute developed flexible OLED lighting panels on flexible glass substrates. COMEDD reports that flexible glass can enable curved panels that has high OLED lifetime - much higher than can be obtained with polymer-based encapsulation and substrate technologies.
Fraunhofer developed those new panels on their own Roll-to-Roll R&D line in collaboration with Von Ardenne (on the development of process equipment) and Nippon Electric Glass (they provided the "G-Leaf" flexible glass rolls). The G-Leaf glass is less than 35 um thick and can be used in roll-to-roll processes.
COMEDD reports that they achieved "great results" in the processing of those OLEDs on the thin glass substrate. COMEDD says that a key technology in this process is the printing of highly conductive metal lines which need to be integrated in the thin film small molecule OLED stack devices.
OLEDs can be deposited on several flexible substrates - including plastic, metal and flexible glass. A year ago Nanomarkets estimated that the flexible glass for OLED market will grow to over $2 billion before 2020. Other flexible glass makers beside Nippon Electric Glass including Corning with their Willow Glass product and Japan's AGC.