OLED kits enable designers to explore potential

Paul Boughton

Royal Philips Electronics is offering designers, architects and artists from all disciplines a new OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology 'starter kit' so that they can discover for themselves the potential offered by OLEDs.

This kit includes an information pack and DVD explaining the technology behind OLEDs and outlining possible future applications. It contains several OLEDs of various shapes, structures and colours, enabling people to experiment with and experience the effects of OLEDs for themselves. More details about how to use the OLED samples are included in the information pack.

OLEDs are very versatile and can vary incredibly in colour and brightness. Furthermore, they can create homogeneous light surfaces in almost any shape, pattern, vibrancy and colour. Thanks to this versatility, OLEDs can create a spectacular range of new and innovative lighting effects that can enhance the look and feel of almost any environment in fresh and innovative ways. And now, as a result of significant investment and several technological breakthroughs, Philips' OLEDs will shortly become available commercially.

Philips has been developing OLED light sources since 2001. Recently the company stepped up its investment and founded a dedicated Business Centre for OLED lighting in Aachen, Germany. This centre has advanced OLED technology significantly, especially in the crucial areas of industrialisation and manufacturing. In fact Philips will be one of the first companies to make OLED technology available commercially for lighting when it launches its first OLED products and prototypes on the market in 2009. These products, which will be marketed under the name of Lumiblade, will include OLED lighting plates of up to 50cm2 and will be available in a wide range of colours and shapes.

Unlike incandescent bulbs, which generate light by passing electricity through a wire, or fluorescent lamps, which pass current through a gas, OLED lighting works by passing electricity through one or more very thin layers of organic semiconductors. These layers are sandwiched between two electrodes. The whole 'sandwich' is deposited onto a sheet of glass or other transparent substrate. When current is applied to the electrodes it flows through the organic film and the film emits light. Using different materials in the films makes it possible for the OLEDs to emit different-coloured light.

OLED starter kits

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