Brussels, 28 Apr 2005
The European Commission is funding one of the world's largest joint research projects in the field of white organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), which aims to develop and demonstrate the technology for general lighting applications and secure future jobs in Europe's lighting sector.
OLLA (high brightness organic light-emitting diodes for ICT and lighting applications) is an Integrated Project funded under the information society technologies (IST) section of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). It brings together 24 partners from 8 European countries, each globally renowned in their particular field of science and technology.
OLEDs consist of organic polymers that emit light when a voltage is applied to them. They are flat light sources, and in future it is expected that they could be used on flexible surfaces, or in lighting systems with controllable colour, allowing users to customise their light atmosphere at home. In addition, as highly efficient light sources OLEDs have the potential to deliver significant energy savings.
'In recent years, OLED technology has improved to the point where it is now possible to envision OLEDs as the next solid-state light source,' says project coordinator Peter Visser of Phillips. 'In order to make this happen, significant advances must still be made in device efficiency, lifetime at high brightness, high throughput fabrication processes, and the generation of illumination-quality white light.'
Mr Visser continued: 'That's exactly what we will do in OLLA. We will aim for a lifetime of 10,000 hours - which is ten times longer than a standard incandescent bulb - and an efficiency of 50 lumens per Watt.'
The project is divided into several working groups focusing on different fields, such as fundamental understanding of materials and devices, the electrical and optical properties of OLEDs, manufacturing principals and system integration. The aim is to achieve the technological breakthroughs needed to allow the large-scale manufacture and sale of OLED products and components for the global lighting market.
Studies will also be carried out alongside the research effort in order to try to link technology development to customer interest. A further work package for training and dissemination will act as a platform for raising awareness among lighting designers, architects and the wider public about OLEDs and their possible applications.
OLLA's technical coordinator, Dietrich Bertram of Philips Lighting, concluded by saying: 'OLLA brings together top players in all aspects of OLED technology in Europe, allowing parallel progress on new materials, new device structures and innovative concepts for OLED manufacturing processes. This will speed up technical development and provide the best possible basis to make OLEDs a commercially viable lighting technology.'
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