OSRAM has achieved record values of efficiency and lifetime while maintaining the brightness of warm white organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). For the first time, laboratory researchers have demonstrated it is possible to improve two crucial OLED characteristics simultaneously: efficiency and lifetime. Up to now, higher efficiency meant shorter life, and vice-versa.
According to Dr. Karsten Heuser, Director of OLED Lighting Technology at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, "Our development team has reached a real milestone for warm white OLEDs with efficiency of 46 lm/W (CIE of 0.46/0.42 measured in the integrated sphere) and a 5,000-hour lifetime, at a brightness of 1,000 cd/m2. With these significant increases, flat OLED light sources are approaching the values of conventional lighting solutions and are therefore becoming attractive for a wide variety of applications. We are very pleased with the results"
The color rendering index (CRI) of the almost 100 cm2 prototype is 80. By March 2009, OSRAM researchers expect that a demonstrator for an energy-saving flat OLED light module comprising several tiles will be able to deliver an overall luminous flux of 500 lm from a power consumption of less than 10 W.
With their pleasant diffused light -- the color of which can be individually controlled -- OLEDs will enhance premium lighting design elements such as light tiles that can be attached to any surface. OLED light sources will be particularly welcome where their special properties as flat light sources offer a high quality of light and make a real impression in illuminated wall coverings, atmospheric canopies of light, and light partitions. For widespread applications it will be necessary to produce efficient OLEDs in large numbers at reasonably low cost " an essential objective of the OPAL research project.
This breakthrough achievement in OLED lighting is a result of the OPAL research project (Organic Phosphoresce Diodes for Applications on the Lighting Market), an initiative launched by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinated by OSRAM.
About the OPAL research project
The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) launched a broad-based initiative to strengthen the OLED position in Germany. The BMBF research project was given the name OPAL (Organic Phosphoresce Diodes for Applications on the Lighting Market). Its purpose is to create a research platform to develop the underlying technology blocks for subsequent series production of OLEDs and their widespread marketing in the future. As the coordinator, OSRAM is working at full pace on the development of high-efficiency OLED light sources that consume little energy.
The remarkable OLED performance results were achieved as part of the "500 lm Multi-OLED Module" project under the OPAL research consortium. This project has focused on the optimization of the layer system comprising small molecules, in which the layers are produced by means of vacuum evaporation. In addition to OSRAM, project participants include Siemens Corporate Technology, the universities in Darmstadt, Braunschweig and Augsburg and the IPMS Dresden.
OSRAM is part of the Industry sector of Siemens and one of the world's two leading lighting manufacturers. The subsidiary OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH (Regensburg, Germany) offers its customers solutions based on semiconductor technology for lighting, sensor and visualization applications. The company employs more than 4,000 people worldwide and operates sites in Regensburg (Germany), Santa Clara (USA) and Penang (Malaysia). Sales for the fiscal year ending September 2007 totaled more than EUR 520 million. For more information, please contact OSRAM Opto Semiconductors at