Pioneer and Mitsubishi begin to mass produce cheap wet-coated OLED lighting panels

Pioneer announced that they began to mass produce OLED lighting modules made with a "wet coating system". The production technology was co-developed by Pioneer and Mitsubishi Chemical. The panels will be distributed by MC Pioneer OLED Lighting Corporation.

The two companies currently produce a single module that is 92.4 x 92.4 mm in size (active area 76x76 mm) and 4.3 mm thick. It weighs 42 grams. The color temperature is 2870K and the maximum luminance is 3,000 cd/m2. Unfortunately they did not reveal the efficiency and lifetime of this OLED.

We don't have a lot of information regarding the exact production method employed by Pioneer. In October 2013, however, Pioneer and Mitsubishi said that their panels use coating only for the bottom layer, while the emissive and top layers are deposited using VTE. But this time the company says that the coating process was used "for a light-emitting layer". So it's not clear.

The two Japanese companies estimated that the new process will reduce the cost of the OLED panel by 90% compared to the current production method, and will also increase the lifetime. In 2013 the companies showed a printed panel that feature a lifetime of 30,000 hours (LT70) @ 2,000 cd/m2 luminance. It's likely that the new panels will have better performance.

It seems like the OLED lighting market is starting to pick up. Just yesterday Konica Minolta announced that it is starting to construct a flexible OLED lighting fab that will have a monthly capacity of a million panels. According to some reports Pioneer's capacity is about 40,000 panels per month. So it'll be small compared to KM's fab, but if Pioneer can indeed get the cost down by 90% it may be very interesting.

Last month Verbatim announced that it will bring those new panels to the L+B exhibition in April - this will probably be the first time those panels will be demonstrated. Verbatim will also demonstrate a flexible OLED lighting panel for the first time.

Posted: Mar 20,2014 by Ron Mertens