LG Chem sent us an update on their OLED lighting program, with some very exciting news. Besides planning flexible OLED lighting panels in July 2013 (I already posted about this earlier), LG says they have successfully developed high efficiency OLED lighting panels (80 lm/W, similar to CFLs) that will enter mass production in July 2013 (together with the flexible panels). These will be the world's most efficient OLED panels (beating LG Chem's current 60 lm/W panels).
The upcoming 80 lm/W will feature 20,000 hours lifetime (LT70), 3000K color temperature, brightness of 75 lumens (3000 cd/sqm) and a CRI of 85. The first 80 lm/W panels will be 100x100 mm in size and only 1.1 mm thick (thinner than LG's current panels which are 1.8mm thick). LG says that these panels will have a surface temperature of 26 degrees - roughly around room temperature (this is better than their current panels).
LG Chem says that to achieve this new efficiency record, they used their unique stacked structure and the company's own advanced OLED materials and light extraction technology. They use a hybrid OLED structure (phosphorescent + fluorescent emitters, back in 2009 the company used Universal Display's green and red PHOLEDs, and SFC's deep-blue fluorescent) - which means that we can expand further efficiency increase if/when they adopt a full phosphorescent structure.
LG plans to start producing two more OLED panels in 2013, besides the new 80 lm/W ones. We will get 140x140 mm panels (60 lm/W, 3500K) and 55x55 mm ones (45 lm/W, 4000K) which will come in three different options: one square, two square scribed together and four squares together.
Finally, LG is also working on transparent OLED lighting panels. The first panels will be small (53x53 mm) - and that's the only detail we currently have. LG Chem will not commit as to when they will start producing those.
Regarding the company's production capacity, LG Chem tells us that they currently produce all OLEDs in a Gen-2 line that can produce 6,000 Gen-2 substrates (370x470 mm) a month. Back in November we reported that LG has plans to build a Gen-5 fab by 2014 or 2015. LG now tells us that they have indeed finalized the "initial development" required for this upcoming Gen-5 line back in August 2012 (with financial aid from the Korean Government). They are now discussing the timing of this new fab, there is a large investment involved. A Gen-5 will enable LG Chem to reduce their production cost by about 95% and will have a much larger capacity then their current Gen-2 line.