Flexible OLED “breakthrough”

AUTHOR: Inavate

Fraunhofer researchers are paving the way for the economic large-scale manufacture of flexible OLEDs, depositing OLED materials on a cheap aluminium foil in a roll-to-roll pilot plant. The work will continue in co-operation with industry partners and under the title Project Rollex.

The Dresden based Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS and the Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP for the first time manufactured a flexible OLED in a roll-to-roll production and encapsulated the device in a subsequent inline-process. This process design would allow the production in a single plant.

Funding was provided from the German federal ministry of education and research (BMBF) and the process was developed in the frame of the project Rollex (roll-to-roll production of highly efficient light-emitting diodes on flexible substrates).

Professor Karl Leo, director of the Fraunhofer IPMS, confirmed: “The successful assembly of an OLED in a roll-to-roll process means a breakthrough on the way to highly efficient and competitive devices.”

The researchers of the Fraunhofer Institutes deposited OLED materials on a cheap aluminium foil in a roll-to-roll pilot plant and further encapsulated the luminescent foil with a barrier layer system, patented by the Fraunhofer FEP, without compromising its luminosity.

Dr. Nicolas Schiller, head of Coating of flexible products at the Fraunhofer FEP said the new process has a “strong potential to reduce costs.