After four years and $13 million-worth of research, General Electric and GE Consumer & Industrial have come up with a way of printing OLEDs using a roll-to-roll process, similar to the way in which newspapers are printed – potentially knocking down the costs of the little blighters dramatically.
Not only does this mean cheaper OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, it could potenitlaly be used to print solar photovoltaics. Here’s more:
“For businesses, architects, lighting designers and anyone interested in pushing the envelope to achieve increasingly energy-efficient lighting — and vastly expanded lighting design capabilities — today marks the day that viable, commercialized OLED lighting solutions are coming into view,” said Michael Petras, GE Consumer & Industrial’s Vice President of Electrical Distribution and Lighting. “We have more work to do before we can give customers access to GE-quality OLED solutions, but it’s now easier to envision OLEDs becoming another high-efficiency GE offering, like LEDs, fluorescent or halogen.”
The demonstration of a low-cost, roll-to-roll process for OLED lighting represents the successful completion of a four-year, $13 million research collaboration among GE Global Research, Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENER) and the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The goal of the collaboration was to demonstrate a cost-effective system for the mass production of organic electronics products such as flexible electronic paper displays, portable TV screens the size of posters, solar powered cells and high-efficiency lighting devices. […] The development of this low cost roll-to-roll manufacturing process has the potential to eliminate the manufacturing hurdles that currently exist in preventing a more widespread adoption of high performance organic electronics technologies such as OLED lighting. The unique commercial equipment and technology needed to enable high performance-based organic electronics products does not currently exist. The few organic electronics products on the market today are made with more conventional batch processes and are relatively high cost. A roll-to-roll manufacturing infrastructure that enables high performance and low cost devices will allow a more widespread adoption of organic electronics products.