General Electric Company (GE) is a diversified industrial corporation, and operations include engines, military, wind turbines, locomotives, lighting and financial services. GE is one of the leading lighting companies in the world.
GE had an active OLED lighting program, collaborating with Tokki and Konica-Minolta on roll-to-roll printing of OLEDs and in 2008 GE announced they will stop working on incandescent lamps and focus only on LED and OLEDs. GE did not update on their OLED Program since 2010, though.
The latest GE OLED news:
GE and Israel's Power Paper will jointly-develop self-powered (battery) OLED Lighting. The project will combine Power Paper's paper-thin, flexible batteries with GE's OLEDs.
GE says that the new OLED products will cost less, be more effective and will be reliable and shock-resistant.
Konica Minolta lays out its OLED Lighting plan:
- Launch OLED lighting equipment by March 2011
- Build a large-scale OLED lighting plant by march 2014
- Get over 100 billion yen (about $1 billion) in sales by 2017/18
The company will spend around 3.5 billion yen ($38 million) to build an initial production line by the end of 2010, in order to launch products by March 2011. The line will use roll-to-roll production method. The mass-production line planned for 2014 will require at least 10 billion yen ($110 million) to build.
Lumiotec is showing new OLED lighting panels. Lumiotec has equipment for developing 300x300 mm OLED panels (although the ones on show are 142x142mm). The panels are 3.5mm thick with a 3800k-4000k color temperature.
Lumiotec plans to begin mass-production in January 2010, which is great news. The company is in contact with the big 3 lighting companies - OSRAM, Philis and GE (all of them has independent OLED Lighting programs).
GE is working since 2003 on roll-to-roll OLED printing (of flexible and transparent OLED lighting panels). Dr Yan from GE says that in 2007, they had fairly high defects, around 65% yield. Today GE says that their yield is between 90%-95%.
One of the biggest issues GE is tackling is the flexible barrier layer to protect the OLED devices. GE has developed an "Ultra High Barrier" (UHB) by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The performance that has been achieved is low 10-5g/m2/day, with good transparency and adhesion.
Dr Yan says that roll-to-roll organic printing is real, and OLED lighting is getting closer. OLEDs are still around 15 times more expansive than conventional lighting, but the price will drop in time, and OLEDs will get cheaper than LEDs because of roll-to-roll printing and potentially cheaper materials.
IDTechEx believes that it will take between 5 to 10 years for OLEDs to become cost effective. But even before that OLEDs can be used in high-value products and niches.
Konica Minolta is launching an online OLED lighting ad campaign (ads were spotted in CNN video, for example). Konica Minolta is working on Phosphorescent OLED lighting, together with UDC and GE. They have plans to release their first products by 2011. It seems like OLED lighting is heating up (unlike the OLED panels), especially since Philips has started shipping samples, and I guess KM also wants to make an early impact, and hopefully we'll hear more from them soon. Perhaps they also plan an "early launch" of samples, like Philips.
KM says that OLED lighting will "change our world", it's the biggest invention in lighting since Edison, and focus on the environmental bonuses and design possibilities. KM also seems to working on flexible or curved OLEDs, or at least they list these as some of OLED's advantages.
They also sponsor several artists, envisioning the future of OLED lighting. Currently there's just one concept from Seifert Stoeckmann, with their "curvilinear light vessel" concept, seen above (more photos and explanation available at KM's site). Their idea is to enable gently curving objects - which might be small "palm" sized objects to giant UFO-like outdoor pieces (shown above).
EEtimes says that GE will start volume production of flexible OLED light panels in 2010. GE will print the OLEDs on polymer substrate, and use their ultra-high barrier coating. GE says that they managed to lower production cost by using roll-to-roll printing, and inexpensive substrates (the polymer ones).
GE are also thinking about possible new designs, and have released this video a month ago, which includes several flexible OLED light designs by art students, including wearable OLEDs for emergency safety gear, illuminated stairs, walls and signs in stores and a nice "wall peel" OLED lamp.
GE has produced a nice video showing all sorts of design concepts using thin, flexible OLED lighting panels. There's wearable OLEDs for emergency safety gear, illuminated stairs, walls and signs in stores and a nice "wall peel" OLED lamp:
The National Energy Technology Laboratory, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its selection for solid-state lighting funding opportunities. A total of fourteen projects were chosen, six of which are OLED related.
QD Vision: Quantum Dot Light Enhancement Substrate for OLED Solid-State Lighting
Summary: This project seeks to develop and demonstrate a cost-competitive solution for realizing increased extraction efficiency organic light emitting devices (OLEDs) with efficient and stable color rendering index (CRI) for SSL. Solution processible quantum dot (QD) films will be utilized to generate tunable white emission from blue emitting phosphorescent OLED (Ph-OLED) devices.
The research team at GE has put together a cool OLED christmas tree. The OLEDs were made by a roll-to-roll fabrication. The OLED is 6 inch wide, by 15 feet. Here's a nice video of the tree:
Anit Duggal, who's leading GE OLED program said - “We’re making great progress toward hitting the metrics needed to successfully introduce OLED lighting to market. We continue to make steady advances in efficiency, lifetime, and lighting-quality using device structures that can be made with roll-to-roll manufacturing, so that we’ll be able to introduce OLED lighting at an affordable price.”
We also got a nice high resolution picture of the tree:
GE has reportedly stopped working on Incandescent light bulbs. They actually had plans to make efficient and clean Incandescent bulbs, and even had working prototypes, but they scrapped those plans because governments are starting to ban those kind of light sources.
GE will instead focus on LEDs and OLEDs. GE has stated before that it hopes to have OLED light products by 2010.