ENEA, FOS, SESMAT and UNISA realized prototypes of luminescent organic devices (OLED) through high-vacuum deposition techniques and innovative printing techniques.
Optoelectronic organic devices can be realized in the form of a thin film on a flexible support (substrate), they are lightweight, and potentially recyclable, therefore with a low environmental impact.
Currently the application, made of organic luminescent devices (Organic Light Emitting Diode, OLED), is used in Lighting and displays’ sector.
These devices are made of extra thin layers of organic superimposed materials which emit light when passed through by an electrical current.
There are two fundamental approaches to realize OLEDs: the first one is based on the high-vacuum deposition technology of so-called small molecules; the second one, which can be also applied at open air, deposes materials in solution. At the moment, products for the market are realized on rigid substrates, mainly on glass, while flexible OLED have been presented as prototypes only.
The global Lighting industry has an annual turnover of tens of billions of euro. The present technologies on the market offer different type of lamps: incandescent, compact fluorescent, halogen, inorganic Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and, only recently, OLEDs. OLED technology is supported by investment of companies and research organizations such as Philips, OSRAM, Novaled, BASF, MERCK, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, etc. OLEDs’ characteristics promise a big active work-area, flexibility, generation of a scattered light, thin devices, high efficiency, and emission of a wide range of colours.
For the next years a strong evolution of OLED lighting products is expected together with an improvement of their performances, to fill also the gap these sources have, at the moment, compared to the common LEDs. A lots of research activities are aimed at overcome limits of this technology (lifetime, efficiency, costs) investing on performing emitting materials, on encapsulation, on reduction of production costs for big area and flexible sources (thanks to innovative printing techniques like serigraphic deposition and roll-to roll techniques).
Industrial and productive sectors
Consumer electronics with application in Lighting and illuminating engineering.