The Fraunhofer FEP, NSMAT and MSSMC developed an OLED on a stainless steel substrate

The Fraunhofer FEP institute, in collaboration with Nippon Steel & Sumikin Materials (NSMAT) and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC), developed a new OLED lighting prototype that is made on a stainless steel substrate.

OLED on stainless steel prototype (Fraunhofer, NSMAT, NSSMC)

The researchers say that a stainless steel substrate has several advantages compared to glass or plastic - it has excellent thermal conductivity and excellent barrier properties. The lighting panel features an extremely homogenous OLED light, thanks to the planarization layer developed by NSSMC. The prototype panel was produced at the Fraunhofer's R2R research line.

R2Flex project concludes, shows a roll-to-roll made flexible OLED lighting luminaire

The 2.5-years €11 million R2Flex project recently concluded. The project, which aimed to develop new technologies for efficient and affordable flexible OLEDs manufactured using a roll-to-roll (R2R) process, presented a flexible OLED desk luminaire prototype. It uses two OLED lighting panels, produced at COMEDD and serially connected via flexible contacting.

The flexible OLED panel was produced on a metal foil. Metal was chosen because it is a cost-effective substrate as one of the key goals in the project was lowering the production cost of OLEDs.

OLEDWorks raises a Series A funding round, will start shipping OLED panels in H2 2013

OLEDWorks logoOLEDWorks have successfully completed its Series A funding round from private investors. While we do not know the exact amount, this money will (according to the company) enable them to start producing "low-cost" OLED lighting panels.

OLEDWorks is building an OLED lighting manufacturing fab in Rochester, NY, and they say that they will offer low-cost OLEDs through the use of equipment and process innovation. Next week at LightFair 2013 they will present their first OLED prototypes, which they plan to start shipping in the second half of 2013.

OLEDWorks' first panels will be 4x4 inch (12x12 cm) in size - and they will be efficient (over 45 lm/W). The company will offer two options: OLED panels on glass and on metal. The panels be thin (under 3 mm) and will come in six color variants - red, blue, green, amber and three white color options (3000K, 3500K and 4000K).

LG Chem plans to release the world's first flexible OLED lighting panels in July 2013

We've just got word from LG Chem that the company now plans to start mass producing the world's first flexible OLED lighting panels in July 2013 (and also high-efficiency 80 lm/W rigid panels). This is exciting news and if LG Chem will indeed go through with this plan it will be an important milestone for OLED lighting. Those OLED panels will be 200 x 50 mm in size and will feature 45 lm/W and a color temperature of 4,000K.

LG's flexible panels are only 0.33 mm thick and weigh under 8 grams - which not only allows new design possibilities but is also useful for energy saving for applications sensitive to weight (electric cars, airplanes, submarines, etc).

First impressions from SID 2012

Update: Here's the complete list of OLED related posts and notes from SID 2012

So, SID 2012 is now over. Personally it was a very good show, even though I hear from many exhibitors that it was slow compared to past years. There were a lot of companies showing OLED displays, lighting panels and related products, and it seems that OLEDs are starting to become mainstream. I do plan to post in-depth posts with interesting details of my talks with various OLED companies, but in the meantime, here's my own "best of SID" list.

Fraunhofer to show a 30-cm wide roll-to-roll flexible OLED lighting panel

The Fraunhofer IPMS are developing a roll-to-roll process to make flexible large area OLED lighting panels. Next week they will show a 30cm wide flexible OLED lighting panel on a metal foil, fabricated at COMEDD. In fact they say that this demonstrates that they developed all necessary process steps for a complete production of flexible OLEDs in a roll-to-roll tool: from the structuring of substrate up to the lamination of barrier foils.

UDC delivered 8 flexible wrist-mounted OLED displays to the US Army

Universal Display announced that they delivered eight wrist-mounted OLED displays to the US Army. Those 4.3" QVGA full-color displays are based on UDC's phosphorescent OLED materials and are built on thin flexible metal foil. The backplane is an amorphous-Silicon (a-Si) TFT, fabricated by LG Display. The displays were designed by L-3 Display systems and "offer various advanced communications features, all integrated into a thin and rugged housing that comfortably fits around a soldier’s wrist".

These prototype were built as part of a US Department of Defense (DOD) funded program.