Konica, GE team up on OLED lighting

TOKYO, JAPAN-Konica Minolta and General Electric have signed a strategic alliance agreement to accelerate the development and commercialization of OLED devices for lighting applications.

TOKYO, JAPAN-Konica Minolta and General Electric have signed a strategic alliance agreement to accelerate the development and commercialization of OLED devices for lighting applications. Their goal is to bring OLED lighting to market within the next three years.

On June 30, 2006, Konica Minolta announced that it had successfully developed a white OLED with a world record power efficiency of 64 lumens/W at 1000 candela/m2-a brightness that is appropriate for lighting applications. Prior to this development, Konica Minolta developed its own highly efficient and long-life blue phosphorescent materials. Applying these material technologies, along with multi-layer design technology and unique optical design technology, Konica Minolta succeeded in developing an OLED having a practical light emission level of 10,000 hours.

“Having such unprecedented attractive features as flexible, thin, light weight, and sheet form, OLED lighting is considered one of the most promising new business opportunities for us in the future,” said Masatoshi Matsuzaki, President, Konica Minolta Technology Center. “We are delighted to collaborate with GE to accelerate the development and launching of this revolutionary new lighting technology.”

In addition to material technology and optical design technology, Konica Minolta has been developing the ultra-high barrier film fabrication technology to enable high productivity. Superb coating technology nurtured through the development of photographic film and display materials also plays an important role in the development of highly productive OLEDs.

GE has also made substantial investments in OLED research that has resulted in world records for OLED lighting device size and efficiency. In 2004, researchers were able to demonstrate an OLED device that was fully functional as a 24 in x 24-in panel, which produced 1200 lumens of light with an efficiency on par with today’s incandescent bulb technology. This was the first demonstration that OLED technology could potentially be used for lighting applications. Since then, GE has more than doubled the level of OLED efficiency using device architectures that are scalable to a large area and can be produced cost-effectively. GE has also focused on developing all the components-ranging from plastic film substrates, ultra-high barrier coatings, and fabrication processes and equipment to enable the high speed, cost-effective “roll-to-roll” manufacturing-necessary to produce large-area OLED lighting.

“In a world demanding higher standards for energy efficiency and environmental performance, OLED lighting has the potential to become a major lighting source on both fronts,” said Michael Petras, GE Consumer & Industrial Vice President. And because OLED lighting is soft and diffused, it will create some exciting application opportunities for designers and specifiers. The applications are numerous, ranging from ceiling lighting for office and residential applications to interior automotive and aircraft lighting to specialty applications such as task lighting, signs, and various forms of interior retail lighting.”

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