updated 12:00 pm EDT, Wed March 12, 2008
GE printed OLEDs
GE Global Research on Wednesday displayed the first ever Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) manufactured via a process similar to newspaper printing. Dubbed roll-to-roll in the manufacturing industry, the concept is not new, but with its demonstration, GE and its partners are the first to put it into practice. The new manufacturing process would allow dramatically reduced costs of high-volume organic electronics devices, which can expand to include solar cells, sensors, display banners and other light sources for the home or office.
While the demonstration marked a big step forward in bringing the technology to consumers, there is more work to be done. Today's demonstration was the product of a four-year, $13 million research collaboration among GE Global Research, Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. and the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology. Energy Conversion Devices already makes and sells thin-film solar laminates that convert sunlight to energy.
Apart from their smaller size which allows for flexibility and more efficient packaging in their application, OLEDs also draw less energy than traditional lighting products. This could even lead to electronic newspapers, or posters, with more advanced flexible displays than last year's Sony prototype.
GE plans to bring OLED lighting products to market by 2010.