SBIR Phase I: Ultra Low Cost, p-i-n OLED Lamps for Specialty Lighting
The Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will demonstrate the feasibility of using white light-emitting polymers in a fully printable manufacturing process to dramatically improve the cost and efficiency performance of organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) flat lamps. Both the OLED display and Lighting industries are interested in p-i-n structured OLEDs because they can be fully printed in open air conditions on flexible barrier substrates through the use of air-stable printable electrodes; however, these displays suffer from higher operating voltages and shortened lifetimes. The project will develop high-efficiency, high-brightness, white light-emitting OLED devices using a p-i-n device architecture that is air stable and fully printable at low cost. It will focus on developing the materials and processes for depositing both the light-emitting and cathode layers that specifically overcome the weakness of traditional Metal-Insulator-Metal (MIM) OLED devices which inhibit the printing of OLED lamps onto flexible substrates at ultra low cost. Current know how in fully-printable OLED displays will be combined with advanced white light emitting materials and dopants to dramatically improve efficiency, lifetime, and printability of LEP devices onto flexible substrates. If success the outcome of this project will be a significant technology and print-based manufacturing platform for white light-emitting polymers that will accelerate the use of OLED technology in the high-efficiency, high-lifetime, lighting industry. Such technology is expected to provide low cost OLED lamps to society as a whole, as well as offer numerous benefits, including improved safety, better lighting quality, and lower dependence on fossil fuels. Aside from the obvious advantage of lowering energy consumption, OLED lamps are expected to offer a fuller spectrum-of-color for an improved lighting experience that lowers workplace fatigue, eye damage from glare, and negative affects on human health. Printable OLED lamps would be expected to find strong adoption by schools, offices, and those in industrial and residential environments. It is not inconceivable that the low cost printing of doped white-light emitting polymers could be disruptive enough to foster a revolution in ultra-low cost lighting solutions that can be used by developing nations to leap frog in development. Outside of the organic display industry, this research would enhance the scientific understanding for other printable electronics, including organic photovoltaics, transistors and memory, where low cost manufacturing of high-efficiency devices are paramount for commercial success.
Small Business Information at Submission:
1600 Green Hills Road Suite 100 Scotts Valley, CA 95044
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