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euroLED: OLEDs to complement HB LEDs

06 Jun 2008

Industry experts discuss OLEDs, standards and knowing your customer's needs and motivations on the second day of euroLED.

There was a change of theme during the opening session of the second and final day of euroLED. It was time to consider OLEDs and their market potential. First up was David Huff from the OIDA followed by David Fyfe of OLED pioneer CDT Sumitomo.

“Solution processing is the absolutely key factor for p-OLEDs.”

"We are going to see a period of slow market growth to 2012 and after that the market will really start to grow," said Huff. "We believe that the aesthetics offered by OLEDs will be a key market driver. Today, however, manufacturing is the biggest issue."

This point was picked up by Fyfe, who believes that technical issues such as lifetime and efficiency can be solved and that OLEDs will be well placed to meet product requirements. CDT has concentrated on red, green and blue-emitting devices in the past but has now turned its attention to white emitters. Fyfe is convinced that CDT's successful track record developing and improving coloured devices can and will be translated into white.

"OLED technology is expanding rapidly," he told the audience. "The first products are likely to be simple signs. Real products are probably about 10 years away."

CDT was purchased by Sumitomo Chemical for $285 million in 2007 and became part of Sumitomo Chemical's OLED business unit. Today, Fyfe announced that the company will establish a polymer OLED (p-OLED) manufacturing line in Shikoku, Japan, by the end of 2008.

"Solution processing is the absolutely key factor for p-OLEDs," said Fyfe. "p-OLEDs are going to be a complementary technology to high brightness LEDs (HB LEDs). There will not be much overlap with HB LED as OLEDs will be best suited to diffuse lighting applications. OLEDs are also dimmable, offer a fast turn-on time, show no colour shift with temperature, are thin and lightweight and no require reflectors."

Know your customer

Talks by Kevin Dowling of Color Kinetics on standards and Neil Musson of Neil Musson Designs (who was speaking from a lighting designer's perspective) picked up on yesterday's theme of knowing your customer.

“Nothing will kill an industry faster than expectations that cannot be met.”

"Nothing will kill an industry faster than expectations that cannot be met," said Dowling. "Performance levels must be realistic and factual; this is why we need standards. Industry and customers require uniform language and definitions as well as uniform testing methods. There has to be truth in advertising."

Dowling highlighted several examples. ANSI standard C78.377 for example groups white light colour temperature between 2700 and 6500 K into seven standard "bins" while IESNA RP-16 defines nomenclature so that everyone in the industry uses the same definition for terms such as LED module, LED engine and LED package.

"I am the customer," was Musson's opening gambit to the audience. "I believe that light is an integral part of architecture. The key question is 'what can be done that has not been done'. Lighting solutions start from a vision. I want to be sold effects - and this might not necessarily be with LEDs. We must shift the language of creativity from the product to the effect that can be achieved. The market should be dictating the product."

Musson believes that communication between the manufacturer and the designer is crucial. "Conversation is a great catalyst in design," he said. "The gap is in communication not the technology. We must bring manufacturing closer to the customer."

Jacqueline Hewett is editor of Optics & Laser Europe magazine.

AlluxaOptikos Corporation HÜBNER PhotonicsECOPTIKLASEROPTIK GmbHBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationSPECTROGON AB
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