The companies BASF, OSRAM
Opto Semiconductors, Philips and AIXTRON today (January 11, 2010) confirmed
that they had received commitment for funding of the new joint "TOPAS 2012,"
the second phase of the OLED 2015 initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education
and Research (BMBF).
Phosphorescent emitter materials for organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) are tested under UV light. These phosphorescent emitters are semiconductive metal complexes which emit light of the desired wavelength.
TOPAS stands for "thousand Lumen organic phosphorescent devices for
applications in lighting systems". In this project, the consortium partners
will focus on developing innovative material and component architectures and
well as new production machines for lighting solutions with highly efficient
organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). In doing so, the partners can build on
successful joint developments from the previous project "OPAL 2008,"
which was also sponsored by the BMBF.
"BASF’s materials have already demonstrated their potential in
very efficient diodes with lifetimes of several thousand hours and extremely
high quantum yields," explained Dr. Elmar Keßenich, project manager
at BASF Future Business GmbH. This is already a major step toward the next goal
of achieving lifetimes of more than 10,000 hours, which is approximately 10-times
longer than the life of a traditional light bulb. In addition to high efficiency
and a long lifetime, a high CRI (color rendering index, >80) is also crucial
to ensuring excellent light quality. CRI values in excess of 90 can be achieved
with BASF’s portfolio of emitters. In the area of materials, BASF works
with partners from the University of Bayreuth, the Technical Universities of
Dresden and Braunschweig, and the University of Munich. The development of emitters
is essential to progress in OLED technology.
"The endorsement of our work and the funding of the TOPAS 2012 project
by the BMBF strengthen our outstanding position in OLED research – also
with regard to international competition," said Dr. Karsten Heuser, project
coordinator and head of OLED activities at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors.
Research within the TOPAS 2012 project will focus on the development of OLEDs
for the lighting systems of the future. This will require all primary colors,
in particular highly efficient and stable blue emitters, which are not currently
available on the market. Blue emitters ensure that it is possible to achieve
all color temperatures from cool to warm white using OLED lighting. Vapor-deposited
materials are currently considered to be state-of-the-art and provide long lifetimes
and high luminous flux and efficiency. Within the project group OSRAM Opto Semiconductors
is focusing on a transparent OLED solution with an area of 1 square meter. Philips
is concentrating on developing particularly bright monolithic OLED systems with
1000 Lumen, and AIXTRON is working on production equipment with high-grade deposition
concepts based on its OVPD (see below).
"Because lighting accounts for around 20 percent of global energy consumption,
the development of energy-saving lighting solutions plays a particularly important
role in reducing CO2 emissions and thus combating global warming," explained
Dr. Dietrich Bertram, head of OLED activities at Philips. OLED technology offers
a number of advantages since it is already more efficient than conventional
halogen lamps and is expected to achieve the efficiency of low-energy bulbs
in the future. In addition, it allows novel flat designs and dispenses with
the need of energy-hungry diffusers. As well as offering new design possibilities,
flat OLED light sources only a few micrometers thick are also much more user-friendly:
They do not dazzle and cast less harsh shadows compared to many conventional
point light sources.