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An exciting insight into the world of organic LEDs

organic electronics

4 Feb 2013

A one-day conference at Brunel University on 22 January 2013 provided an exciting insight into the world of organic light emitting displays – a market forecast to grow six-fold in the next decade.

Some 80 delegates attended the event, which reviewed the field of organic light emitting displays (OLEDs) and lighting and organic photovoltaics (OPVs). The discussions ranged from funding projects and the device marketplace, to the tuning of molecular emission to the processing and capsulation of devices. The event was sponsored by SCI’s Materials Chemistry Group, RSC and Kurt J Lesker Company Ltd.

Prof P Kathirgamanathan opened the meeting with a demonstration of an organic lighting panel and various OLED devices, and was followed by a short talk by Prof Jack Silver, director of the Wolfson Center for Materials Processing at Brunel University.

Two discussions then provided a commercial perspective, starting with Myrrdin Jones who outlined how the Technology Strategy Board can be used to financially-support new emerging technology projects. Raghu Das of IDtechEX followed with a talk on the OLED and OPV markets, trends and forecasts. He said the OLED market is predicted to exceed $60 billion by 2023, from the $10 billion today. He also relayed the main reasons why OPVs have so far been a commercial failure, and why only small profits for the technology are predicted in the coming five years.

The head of OLED systems at BASF, Dr Ingo Münster, then explained how multidisciplinarity of teams at BASF (taking in material design, molecular modelling and synthesis, photophysical analysis and device design and testing) is key to improving device performance, with the current focus on blue emission – an industry sticking point.

Dr Nico Meyer (Aixtron) began the next session on processing. He described how organic vapour phase deposition is an ideal technique to use for more complex device structures. Dr F Eckes (Merck) described how concentrating on critical parameters for solution processed OLEDs, such as morphology, can lead to large increases in device performance. T Kolbusch (Coatema) described production methods for large area printed electronics and organic photovoltaics, in particular the factors associated with scaling up production.

Delegates were offered the opportunity of a lab tour of the OLED development and processing facilities at Brunel University.

The afternoon session began with a talk by Dr M-B Madec (Solvay). Dr Madec’s team has found that controlling the nanomorphology of device layers is key to optimising efficiencies of solution processed OPVs. James McGettrick (Tata Steel Colours) described an ambitious project to functionalise entire buildings via PV-coated steel based on dye-sensitised solar cells.

Dr A Toomy (Northumbria University) presented a short video on how organic electronics can be used in design. Dr M Oxborrow (NPL) presented his ground-breaking research bringing MASER operation to room temperature. Dr S Gillissen (Henkel) gave the final presentation of the day’s programme outlining the challenges in developing suitable sealant materials for organic electronic applications, such as flexibility, transparency and low water permeability.

Dr Lisa Bushby

This article was amended on 6 February 2013 to clarify that Dr S Gillissen's presentation discussed low water permeability rather than solubility.

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