Providing extremely flexible design options, the OLED lighting technology is about to foray into commercialization within a few years, claims Osram. The German lighting expert has successfully completed the R2D2 research program designed for the development of flexible OLEDs, and it can be anticipated that this technology will gain huge acceptance in the automotive world.
Marc Luennemann, head of OLED at Osram, says that progress in OLED technology is advancing at a quick pace. He adds that with the successful completion of the project, the partners showed impressively that they can anticipate OLEDs to be ready for series production in just a few years’ time—above all for automotive lighting.
In contrast to point light sources such as organic light emitting diodes and LEDs, OLEDs are flat light sources. Their light is very homogenous and does not require any light guides, reflectors or similar optics, thus making them efficient and ultra-lightweight. OLED enables light sources to be designed in any shape and mounted on flexible carriers.
As a highlight of the R2D2 research project, a rear light prototype was launched at this year’s CES which was jointly developed by Hella, Audi, and Osram OLED. Hella shaped into three-dimensional modules the Flexible OLEDs from Osram and integrated them in rear lights according to a design produced by Audi. The partners guaranteed that the light emitted by the flexible OLED conforms to the ECE standards for light color and brightness. The 3D unit does not require any extra optics or reflectors for the light to be easily seen from any viewing angle. The beauty of the 3D OLED provides automakers with unseen freedom of design. New approaches can be taken with the development of this light source, thanks to the homogeneity of the light-emitting surface and the accuracy of the design.
The R2D2 project consortium covers the entire value added chain, consisting of material research, component technology, mechanical engineering, and application studies for upcoming products. The work is based on the globally renowned results of the BMBF- sponsored R2Flex, So-Light and TOPAS2012 projects for organic electronics. The involvement of Osram OLED and end-users of light sources such as Hella and Audi underpins a rapid and broad assessment of the projet results. The consortium consists of Von Ardenne GmbH, Osram OLED GmbH, Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., Diehl Aerospace GmbH, Audi, and Fraunhofer FEP. The research project has been co-established by German federal research ministry, BMBF.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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