Q&A with Verbatim's OLED team

Back in February, Pioneer and Mitsubishi Chemical has announced an OLED Lighting JV. Pioneer will produce OLED lighting panels, Mitsubishi Chemical will supply chemicals and will market and sell the panels through their Verbatim daughter company.

We had the good chance to speak with Verbatim regarding this new OLED business.

Verbatim OLED panels (L+B 2010 exhibition photo)

Q: Are there any updates on the OLED JV?
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp will start to supply samples at the end of 2010, and mass production in the middle of 2011.

Q: What market will you focus on, at least initially? General lighting?
We will focus new high valued lighting market initially, not General Lighting, because our OLED lighting is color temperature tunable and RGB color tunable, in addition to being a large sized thin planar white lighting.

Q: Can you tell us more about the OLED panels you plan to make?
Our OLED Panel has bellow features.
  1. Size: 14cm*14cm
  2. Efficiency (typical): 28lm/w
  3. Types of materials: small molecular OLED (as emitter)
  4. Types of lighting: Planar thin OLED Lighting, partially using solution OLED, color temperature tunable(2700K-6500K), and RGB color tunable 
  5. Lifetime(LT70, typical): 8000hrs
  6. CRI (typical): 80(R9=66)

Price will be decided soon.

Verbatim OLED lamp (L+B 2010 exhibition photo)

Q: It was suggested that your JV will focus on printable OLEDs. Is that so?
Our first OLED lighting panels in 2011 will use printable OLED as under layer (=Hole injection layer) for the first time. Because of it our product has good productivity (no defects) and good homogeneous performance.

Next generation in a few years use printable OLEDs in even emitter layer which leads to low cost and high productivity. We are now focusing on developing and commercializing it.

Q: Mitsubishi has an active OLED program, working towards OLED materials. Will those materials used in the JV? Will you be using UDC's PHOLED materials?
Concerning solution OLED materials themselves, Mitsubishi is responsible for them, and they are used in this business. Of course we will strongly cooperate with material companies, as panel maker.
We have a good relationship with UDC.

Q: Mitsubishi also has an active OLED display program (and will soon ship a modular OLED display). Is that still on track? How will it be effected by the lighting JV?
Concerning active OLED displays, we will cooperate with display makers and supply solution OLED materials for low cost and big-size display. We are also interested in signage and electric poster displays, too.

Q: Your plan is to start mass production in 2011. Is that still on? Will you make and sell samples before that?
We will start mass production in 2011 and  samples in 2010.

Q: Several companies are already selling samples (including Philips, Osram and Lumiotec). What do you think about that strategy?
It depends on each company’s strategy.

Q: GE and Konica-Minolta are working towards printable (roll-to-roll) OLED lighting modules, and has recently announced a major breakthrough. What do you think about their technology? Will this be the technology of choice for OLED panels?
In our thought, printable OLED is major issue because of low cost.

Q: Where do you see the lighting market in a few years? what role will OLEDs play?
We predict that it is limited in only high valued market in a few years because of high price. But it makes new lighting world because of special features like planar lighting, RGB color tunable, color temperature tunable, transparent and flexible, as lighting designer expect.

Q: What do you think are the main challenges still ahead for the OLED lighting industry?
Main challenges are making new lighting market at first and cost-down next.

Q: Where do you see your JV in 5 years?
We plan to supply OLED lighting which has special features at low price, such as planar lighting, RGB color tunable, color temperature tunable in the world in 5 years. And we will be?working on transparent and flexible planar lighting to supply in appropriate timing.

Thanks guys. I wish you good luck with the OLED lighting business, and hopefully we'll hear from you soon. In the meantime, you can check out Verbatim's OLED technology web page, and also see their OLED lighting panels in action in this short video from the L&B show (April 2010):

Posted: Sep 13,2010 by Ron Mertens