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$13m research brings newspaper printing to OLEDs

electric.jpg What do you like on your rolls? Cheese? Ham? Or, if you’re Lady Penelope, Royce? What about OLEDs, the super efficient lighting devices that are set to replace illumination as we know it?

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.

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