In a new hi-tech research laboratory at the Mainz location around 20 scientists will in future be conducting fundamental research into the manufacture of large-area components based on these luminous plastics - so-called "Organic Light Emitting Diodes" (OLEDs). "In OLEDs for lighting applications Schott is playing a pioneering role. With our potential in basics and technology we are in a position to drive forward the development of large-area components significantly," explained Dr. Udo Ungeheuer, a member of the Board of Management, on the occasion of the official inauguration of the clean room laboratory.
Indeed, on this project, in which partners from industry and science are also involved, Schott is contributing comprehensive know-how in the field of thin-glass substrates, lighting, large-area coating processes, encapsulation processes, analysis, and measuring technology. OLED activities, which are sponsored by the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Economics through Investitions- und Strukturbank Rheinland-Pfalz (ISB) GmbH and are limited to a period of three years initially, are intended to create a basis for pilot production in the future.
OLEDs are especially fascinating due to such properties as light weight, high energy efficiency, wide beam angle, brilliant colors, and high luminance. So far the attraction of organic LEDs was centered on display applications. Meanwhile, however, the potential of this relatively young technology has also been recognized for the lighting sector: Schott is one of the first companies to launch activities in this market segment. The Mainz researchers are convinced there are promising fields of application for OLED light sources in the automotive sector, design, advertising, consumer products, laboratory equipment, and traffic engineering.
OLEDs are comprised of a substrate, a transparent electrode, thin organic layers only nanometers thick, and a counter electrode. The mode of operation is based on so-called injection electroluminescence, where application of a voltage to the electrodes causes the organic layers to emit light.