Universal Display pushes white OLEDs to 100 lm/W

June 19, 2008
Made using the company's phosphorescent OLED technology and with the help of a DOE grant
OLED developer Universal Display Corp. says that it has demonstrated a record-breaking white OLED with an efficacy of 102 lumens per watt at 1000 cd/m2 using its proprietary, high-efficiency phosphorescent OLED technology.

Efficacy results for white OLEDs continue to improve quickly. Just last month at the Society for Information Display (SID) Symposium, UDC announced a result of 72 lm/W.

Of course, these are R&D results that are years away from production. In contrast, 100 lm/W LEDs are commercially available now.

Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through its Solid-State Lighting initiative, Universal Display’s 102 lm/W milestone is a step on the path toward the DOE’s roadmap goal of a 150 lm/W commercial OLED light source by 2015.

For the first time, white OLEDs have surpassed the power efficacy of the two incumbent indoor lighting technologies: incandescent bulbs are less than 15 lm/W and most fluorescent lamps are 60-90 lm/W, said the company.

“Reaching 100 lumens per watt is a tremendous accomplishment for our company and the industry. We would like to thank the DOE for their continued support,” said Steven Abramson, president and CEO of Universal Display. “White OLEDs are moving a significant step closer to becoming a key participant in the $100 billion per year lighting industry.”

UDC's light source has a not-too-impressive color rendering index (CRI) of 70 and a coordinated color temperature (CCT) of 3900 K. This all-PHOLED structure uses complementary materials from Universal Display’s collaboration partners at LG Chem and Nippon Steel Chemical Co.

As well as touting the energy saving and "green" benefits of OLED technology, and their thin, lightweight and durable form factor (presuambly "durable" is relative to incandescent or fluorescent lamps), UDC says that white OLEDs offer significant new lighting design opportunities. White OLEDs are also readily color tunable, from cool to warm whites, with "extremely pleasing" white emission that simulates healthful, natural lighting.

UDC also offered some comaparison with inorganic LEDs, saying that white OLEDs are excellent diffuse emitters with the potential to be significantly more cost-effective in high-volume production. "Moreover," said the press release, "OLEDs are a cool source of light, in contrast to inorganic LEDs, where the removal of heat remains a significant challenge." The press release conveniently forgot to mention any of the negative aspects of OLEDs compared with LEDs.