Holst Centre was setup in 2005 by IMEC (Belgium) and TNO (Holland), with government support. The center is located in Eindhoven, and has around 200 employees and over 20 industrial partners.
The center is an independent R&D operation that develops generic technologies for Wireless Autonomous Transducer Solutions and for Systems-in-Foil. One of the programs in the Holst center is ‘Printed Organic Lighting and Signage’ - develops device designs for OLED lighting and signage applications, compatible with roll-to-roll (R2R) processing.
The latest Holst OLED news:
The Holst Centre, in collaboration with US-based ultra-thin ceramics supplier ENrG have managed to produce a flexible OLED lighting panel on a 20-40 um thick ceramic substrate. The researchers at the Holst Centre say that a ceramic substrate offers an excellent barrier, is easy to handle and can withstand the high temperatures used in display backplane manufacturing processes.
The Holst presented the 12 x 2.5 cm prototype OLED lighting panel that you see above. A ceramic substrate can withstand temperatures up to 1000 Celsius - and can be made partially transparent. This could prove to be an interesting alternative to plastic and metal substrates.
The €11-million 3-years European Flex-o-Fab project was launched in January 2013 with an aim to help commercialize flexible OLEDs. The Holst Centre, the project's coordinator, announced that the Flex-o-Fab successfully completed its goals - including developing indium-free electrodes (based on ZTO with a supporting metal grid) and brighter OLEDs (light emission was enhanced by about 30% using a plastic substrate with outcoupling features).
The project used a distributed pilot production line and associated manufacturing chain involving partners and facilities at different locations across Europe. The project partners managed to migrate key processes from sheet-to-sheet processing to roll-to-roll production. .
The €11-million 3-years European Flex-o-Fab project was launched in January 2013 with an aim to help commercialize flexible OLEDs. The researchers working on this project have now successfully fabricated a flexible OLED prototype in a roll-to-roll (R2R) process.
The OLED prototype (shown above) was produced on a PET plastic film, and the researchers say this is a significant breakthrough on the way to commercial production. It uses technologies developed as part of the Flex-o-Fab project in addition to the Holst Centre's own high-performance flexible barriers for organic electronics.
In the past two years, Evonik and the Holst Centre has been developing a new soluble Oxide-TFT material and a slot-die coating deposition process. Evonik is now commercializing the so-called iXsenic S material. In fact Evonik says that a key customer is introducing the product in a mass production display fab (it is unknown if this line produces OLED or LCD displays).
Evonik says that their new material offers a performance good enough for high-resolution OLED and LCD displays, and it can be deposited in a coating process which lowers production costs.
DuPont announced that it is extending its collaboration with the Holst Centre. This collaboration is expected to advance technology in the areas of OLED lighting, wearable electronics, in-mold electronics, sensors and smart packaging.
DuPont says that they hope this collaboration will generate innovation that will be key to unlock new opportunities in this market. The company recently announced advances in nano-silver conductor inks for OLED lighting.
The Holst Centre expands sheet-to-sheet OLED production facility with a new Kurt J. Lesker thermal evaporator
The Holst Centre purchased a Kurt J. Lesker Super Spectros thermal evaporator, which expands the centre's OLED sheet-to-sheet production facilities. The new tool will increase throughput for hybrid solution-processed / evaporated OLEDs, speeding up testing of new process steps and materials.
The Holst Centre says that in the future, high volume OLED production is likely to use roll-to-roll processes, but in sheet-to-sheet processes provide an an important intermediate step. The centre will use the new Super Spectros thermal evaporator for depositing the light-emitting and charge-transport layers of small-molecule OLED devices.
First up are a flexible OLED with an wireless sensor integrated into a fabric and a watch with a flexible OLED. There's also a cool demo that shows how you can iron a flexible OLED on a fabric - the OLED can withstand the high temperature without a problem. They also show how an OLED lighting can be used under water.
The Holst Center is developing OLEDs on foil, with an aim to integrate them on textiles. In the following video you can see some demonstrations of OLED and LED integrated into textiles and OLEDs on a stretchable matrix, too:
I really liked that fabric with the Holst Centre with the hidden LEDs... Nice!
Rolic opened a new development facility in the Netherlands focused on OLED technologies. This will accelerate the company's OLED development and bring them into production, in close cooperation with locally specialized production companies.
In September 2012 Rolic have entered into a research partnership with the Holst Centre, with an aim to develop protective moisture barriers (encapsulation) for flexible electronics applications such as OLED and OPV. As part of that partnership, Rolic are developing new materials that will enable commercialization of of high-end flexible barriers and solutions for improved light out-coupling. This new development center will focus on the implementation and commercialization of those research and development results.
The Holst Centre released a few nice videos, and I think they're worth a watch. First up is the one about their flexible OLED display research. Last year Holst and imec announced a new program to develop high resolution flexible OLED displays, with a focus on a mechanically flexible encapsulation film and TFT backplane, printed high-efficiency OLED and new materials and processes. The video below shows their first display (which was already unveiled last month):
In this new video you can see that the display is monochrome (red) and contains several defects.