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Novaled partners with steel maker for flexible OLEDs

23 Oct 2007

Flexible OLED applications could benefit from a new partnership between OLED manufacturer Novaled and steel maker ArcleorMittal.

Novaled has teamed up with the world's largest quality steel maker, ArcelorMittal, to fabricate organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) on steel substrates. The partners are developing top-emitting OLEDs on flexible steel substrates for signage and lighting purposes.

"Novaled and Arcelor are leading experts in their field of industry, and combining their strengths provides a promising new option for designers and application makers," Anke Lemke, marketing communication officer at Novaled, told optics.org.

The collaboration aims to offer a unique solution that will enable a range of new applications. "Designers will have completely new options to create applications that have not been possible in the past for lighting and signage products," explained Lemke. "These could include illuminated traffic signs and bendable light sources."

The majority of current OLEDs are fabricated on glass, but, Lemke believes that metallic substrates are not only more robust and durable but are also easier to produce. "A roll-to-roll production process can be used," explained Lemke. "This means that the production method can be adapted to a subsequent inline process for OLED-deposition, enabling high through-put manufacturing."

Although Lemke did not comment on the material composition or specific performance results, she did say that the OLEDs could be made flexible depending on the thickness of the steel substrate used.

"We are always looking for ways to innovate and develop new application fields that add value to our steel products," says Michel Beguin, general manager of ArcleorMittal's Industry Research Centre. "The Novaled technology gives us the advantage of an efficient top inverted structure well adapted to our metal substrate."

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