The forthcoming Plastic Electronics Foundation (PEF) event in Dresden, Germany on 11-13 October brings together developers of organic electronics to discuss the approaching commercialisation of these emerging technologies.
The Plastic Electronics 2011 conference has a particular focus on OLED lighting as a promising area of commercialisation for the plastic electronics industry. The event includes a pre-conference workshop on smart lighting and an opening plenary presentation from Stephen Forrest, an OLED lighting expert, and founder of companies such as Universal Display.
Karl Leo, president of the PEF, discusses the approaching mass-commercialisation of printed electronics.
Where is commercial progress being made in organic electronics?
The biggest progress has been in small [OLED] displays for mobile phones - the market is expected to double or even treble next year. Step-by-step the technology is becoming larger.
In lighting there are OLEDs available for high-end applications too - decorative lighting is an important niche market here.
Why is there a focus on OLED lighting?
The possibilities for OLED lighting are excellent, as incandescent lighting is disappearing. The technology has been much advanced by the work done by the displays industry.
How can OLED lighting devices move from niche to mass-market?
OLED lighting products manufactured on display tools come out at around €1,000 per square metre, when they should be at around €100.
We have to go to larger substrates, and reduce the price of materials and encapsulation, for instance.
There are some early demonstrators of roll-to-roll OLEDs from the Holst Centre and GE, and this is the way to go, but these are several years away. We are doing work on roll-to-roll at Fraunhofer IPMS as well.
Efficiency is also critical as it still needs improving significantly in terms of long lifetimes at high brightness levels.
What plastic electronics innovations are you working on?
We're now working largely on organic solar cells. Solid-state cells have made enormous progress and are approaching the necessary 10% efficiency levels.
Companies like Heliatek are improving their small-molecule devices. We expect to see some first demonstrators and maybe products from this field in early 2012.
+Plastic Electronics magazine will be appearing at the forthcoming Plastic Electronics 2011 event in Dresden, Germany on 11-13 October 2011.
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Plastic Electronics 2011
Plastic Electronics 2011 will take place in Dresden, Germany on 11-13 October 2011
The Future of OLEDs for Lighting and Displays
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