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Published on November 21st, 2010 | by Tina Casey


German Researchers Invent New Process to Bring Down the Cost of Energy Saving OLED Technology

November 21st, 2010 by  

German researchers develop inexpensive process for manufacturing energy saving OLEDsHere at CleanTechnica we’ve been busy keeping up with the latest news on graphene, so we have some catching up to do when it comes to another exciting technology, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). These energy saving lights have been seeping into consumer products, but at a relatively slow pace due to their relatively high cost. That may soon change, as researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Germany have come up with a new OLED manufacturing process that could significantly reduce production expenses.

Making OLEDs Less Expensive

The new process was developed in partnership with lighting giant Phillips. It represents the converse of the conventional method, which is an evaporation-based process in which large quantities of material are deposited in a thin layer, then removed. In this process, the un-needed areas are masked out with a stencil, and the material is only deposited where it will remain.

A New Kind of “Living Glass”

Through this new process, the researchers are able to lower the cost of embedding ultra-thin conductive wires in various kinds of surfaces. These wires enable the light from OLEDs to be diffused uniformly throughout a surface. The researchers to envision a new kind of low cost “living glass,” in which whole surfaces light up rather than having light emit from discrete points.

OLEDs and a Sustainable Future

If successfully commercialized, the new process would not only help push the mass adoption of lighting technology that uses less energy, but it would also help open up the entire concept of lighting to include objects and building elements that double as light sources. 

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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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