GE develops white organic LEDs for lighting

A DOE-funded project to develop white organic LEDs (OLEDs) for lighting applications was described in a talk at the Fourth International Conference on Solid-State Lighting by Anil Duggal of GE Global Research Center.

Aug 31st, 2004
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OLED panel
Until now, the main focus of OLED development has been for the display market, but OLEDs can also be used as a diffuse light source suitable for large area applications.

The key advantages of OLEDs are high efficiency, the ability to construct the devices on thin and flexible substrates, and low potential cost - GE is currently involved in another project to develop a roll-to-roll production machine for OLED manufacturing.

OLED panel
Duggal explained that GE has already demonstrated an OLED panel measuring 2 x 2 feet, which produces a total of 1200 lumens with an efficacy of 15 lm/W. These figures are equivalent to an 80 W incandescent bulb. A color temp of 4000 K and a color rendering index (CRI) of 88 - which exceeds the performance of most fluorescent tubes - were also reported.

However, together with cost, the big drawback for OLEDs is lifetime: the 1200 lumen panel had a life of about 400 hours, which is significantly less than equivalent white LEDs can manage.

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This is an extract from a longer article originally published in the October 2004 issue of Compound Semiconductor magazine.

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