OSRAM has achieved record values of efficiency and lifetime while maintaining the brightness of warm white OLED). For the first time, laboratory researchers have demonstrated it is possible to improve two crucial OLED characteristics simultaneously: efficiency and lifetime. Up to now, higher efficiency meant shorter life, and vice-versa.

Dr. Karsten Heuser, Director of OLED Lighting Technology at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, is pleased with the excellent intermediate results. Our development team has reached a real milestone for warm white OLEDs with efficiency of 46 lm/W (CIE of 0.46/0.42 measured in the integrated sphere) and a 5,000-hour lifetime, at a brightness of 1,000 cd/m². With these significant increases, flat OLED light sources are approaching the values of conventional lighting solutions and are therefore becoming attractive for a wide variety of applications.

The color rendering index (CRI) of the almost 100 cm² prototype is 80. By March 2009, OSRAM researchers expect that a demonstrator for an energy-saving flat OLED light module comprising several tiles will be able to deliver an overall luminous flux of 500 lm from a power consumption of less than 10 W.

With their pleasant diffused light the color of which can be individually controlled OLEDs will enhance premium lighting design elements such as light tiles that can be attached to any surface. OLED light sources will be particularly welcome where their special properties as flat light sources offer a high quality of light and make a real impression in illuminated wall coverings, atmospheric canopies of light, and light partitions. For widespread applications it will be necessary to produce efficient OLEDs in large numbers at reasonably low cost an essential objective of the OPAL research project.

This breakthrough achievement in OLED lighting is a result of the OPAL research project (Organic Phosphoresce Diodes for Applications on the Lighting Market), an initiative launched by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinated by OSRAM.