NanoMarkets has published a new white paper that discusses the market opportunities for OLED lighting. The paper was drawn from a report released in Q3 of 2007. NanoMarkets discusses the status of current OLED lighting research, the competition, and also "Open Questions, Challenges and Solutions".
This analysis makes the case for printed and organic lighting market/OLED lighting seem very easy to make. But as always the devil is in the details. OLED lighting may be able to offer remarkable things such as substrate flexibility, but no one yet knows where that capability can generate the most revenues. Among the many new products that could be created using “cool” new OLED lighting technology we don’t know yet which are likely to be snapped up by customers. And while the potential for using R2R processes and printing opens up exciting possibilities for price points that would greatly accelerate the adoption of OLED lighting, nobody has yet settled on which manufacturing processes or materials make the most sense and which can promote the greatest leaps forward in terms of brightness, power efficiency, stability and lifetime.
The state of the art for OLED lamps today is roughly in the 10–30 lm/W range today, but that’s likely to be a short-term frontier. UDC, for example, is in the midst of a 40 lm/W project and Eastman Kodak is working on broad enhancements to small molecule OLEDs under a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program culminating in September, 2008, with hopes of hitting 50 lm/W. Another DOE project is applying a novel nanocomposite coating material to the OLED anode to optimize hole transport and attain 60-80 lm/W in conjunction with a life exceeding 10 Khrs. The DOE’s technology roadmap 100 to 150 lumens/W for OLED lighting in the long run.