The Holst Centre and Fraunhofer FEP in Germany have developed a flexible OLED screen that is 15m long.
The development is part of the Lyteus project that brings together OLED technology developers across Europe to create a pilot production line and product development services.
"This is a major milestone in development of pilot line Roll-to-Roll (R2R) technologies that will enable Lyteus to offer long OLED strips to its customers. It is an example of how the Lyteus pilot line turns flexible OLED possibilities into products. It was only possible due to the unique capabilities of Holst Centre and Fraunhofer FEP and the great cooperation between them and other Lyteus partners" says Pavel Kudlacek, Leader of Technology Development at Lyteus.
It is the first OLED source produced using a unique R2R process that combines the performance of an evaporated OLED stack with solution processing of auxiliary layers. Moreover, the combination improves the process reliability and enables fabrication of devices of any length.
To produce the device, Fraunhofer FEP deposited an indium-tin oxide (ITO) anode onto a protective multi-layer barrier film produced by Holst Centre. The roll was processed at Holst Centre, where slot-die coating was used to structure the anode and deposit the first layer of the OLED stack. Fraunhofer FEP then evaporated the rest of the OLED layers and finalized the devices by lamination of Holst Centre barrier. The resulting devices have a good homogeneity and an efficacy of 15 lumen/W at a light output of 1000 cd/m2.
"Roll-to-roll production promises higher volumes and lower costs for flexible electronics applications like OLEDs. At Holst Centre we have been developing a unique, solution coating roll-to-roll line for 10 years. The 15-meter OLED shows that the technology is now ready for industrialisation, and can deliver cost-effective, high-volume OLED production," says Pim Groen, Program Manager at Holst Centre.
"The 15m OLED is further evidence of our ability to deposit high-quality organic layers and integrate them with a unique solution-processed layers to create reliable and homogeneous devices in a continuous process. It is a step towards the creation of 'endless' OLED devices and a further step in our R2R OLED manufacturing processes, which we are developing now for more than 10 years," says Jacqueline Hauptmann, Project Manager OLED R2R at Fraunhofer FEP.
This can be used for long displays or cut into smaller, lower cost displays connected to the Internet of Things