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Rochester, NY, United States

OLEDWorks LLC | Date: 2013-10-18

A color-tunable OLED device comprising: a charge-carrying cathode layer and a charge-carrying anode layer disposed parallel to each other; at least a first organic light-emitting unit and a second organic light-emitting unit disposed between the cathode and anode; and at least one charge-generating layer disposed between the cathode and anode, wherein the charge-generating layer is a charge-carrying layer of lesser lateral conductivity than the anode and cathode, and said charge-generating layer is electrically connected without additional circuit elements to another charge-carrying layer and disposed such that at least one organic light-emitting unit is wedged between two directly-connected charge-carrying layers, and at least one organic light-emitting unit is not thusly wedged.

OLEDWorks LLC | Date: 2013-03-21

An apparatus for depositing one or more organic material layers of an OLED lighting device upon a first region of a substrate and one or more conducting layers upon a second region, wherein the conducting layers partially or completely cover and extend beyond one side of the organic layers, comprising: a reusable mask in contact with the substrate, at least one mask open area having an overhang feature; one or more sources of vaporized organic material, selected to form layers of the OLED lighting device, and the vaporized organic material plume is shaped, on the side corresponding to the mask overhang feature, so as to limit substantial transfer of organic material on said side to angles less than or equal to a selected cutoff angle to the first region; and one or more sources of vaporized conducting material that transfer conducting material to the second region, wherein the second region partially or completely overlaps the first region and extends beyond the first region on the side corresponding to the overhang feature of the mask.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 103.59K | Year: 2015

Project Summary/Abstract: With many OLED lighting panel makers reporting reliability issues, the most common being sudden failure of a panel to emit light due to a short circuit between the anode and cathode, this project will develop new methods and technologies to elevate reliability from 1 failure in 1000 panels to 1 in 10,000, and beyond. OLED lighting is projected to grow to be a $5B industry worldwide by 2025, and be a significant part of the US energy savings due to Solid State Lighting, which is projected to be 217 TWhr in 2025. Poor reliability slowed market adoption of CFLs it is important not to repeat this with OLED lighting. Technology was developed at Kodak (US Patent 7183707) to deposit a thin inorganic layer with the correct resistivity properties over the anode before the organics, a step known as Short Reduction Layer (SRL). Initially deposited by sputtering, a superior method is by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) to create almost defect-free uniform layers. The first version of this technology is used in all of OLEDWorks current OLED lighting products. There is great opportunity to increase the performance of the SRL through the combined use of our understanding of the growth dynamics of shorts in OLED lighting panels, and resulting understanding of the key physical properties required for improved SRL films. New materials suitable for making ALD films will be introduced and used in single layer and multi layer structures, which will be tested in sufficiently large numbers of OLED lighting panels to determine their efficacy for preventing shorts. Phase 1 will be used to find the most effective SLR films within the scope of the material set, the processing constraints, and the performance requirements. A successful higher performing SRL layer would reduce shorts due to all manner of roughness, hence enabling multiple cost reduction possibilities in OLED lighting, most associated with the use of lower cost substrates, lower cost anodes and patterning methods, and lower cost bus metal auxiliary electrodes. These cost reductions could significantly accelerate the market adoption of OLED lighting, with the attendant energy savings to energy consumers. Keywords: OLED lighting, reliability, shorting, Short Reduction Layer Summary for Members of Congress: OLED lighting will be a very important part of Solid State Lighting in the US for saving energy. Good reliability is critical for rapid market adoption. This project will develop improved technology to increase reliability by reducing early failures due to shorting in future OLED lighting products.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 148.37K | Year: 2015

OLEDWorks, the only OLED lighting panel maker in the US, will develop the first outdoor OLED luminaire using solar energy for lighting pedestrian areas. This luminaire will accelerate energy savings by: Reducing energy used to light pedestrian areas through taking these areas off the grid, using solar energy for power. Demonstrating how smart controls and communication can be used with OLED lighting to accomplish energy savings made necessary by battery limitations and varied weather conditions. Increasing public awareness of OLED lighting by showcasing its properties in public places. OLED lighting needs increased market awareness in order to achieve widespread market adoption and realize its energy savings potential. The OLED fixtures and their communications will reflect a shift in paradigm from the current large, glary luminaires mounted high upon widely spaced poles, to a lower-cost design using shorter, less expensive poles that are more closely spaced to eliminate glare, and with no requirement for expensive burying of electric wires. In addition, smart controls will be used for operation e.g., responding to the detection of people and animals) and decision-making e.g., Wi-Fi for inter-fixture communication, weather forecasting, and monitoring). OLED panels are well suited for this application. In the 2013 DOE SSL Gateway study on outdoor lighting in pedestrian areas, the findings of the study all pointed to OLED as an appropriate solution for the cited problems of glare and harsh light. In addition, the desired characteristics of warmer color temperatures, lower horizontal illuminances, and the better daytime appearance all play to OLED lightings strengths over incumbent outdoor illumination solutions. OLEDWorks has designed and fabricated a first prototype outdoor luminaire with solar collector, battery, eight large OLED panels, and a motion detector. This fixture, currently in operation, is being used to collect operating data and to assess the design. During Phase I, the design of the fixture will be improved to increase its robustness, reduce cost, reduce power consumption, and improve manufacturability. In addition, the smart controls and communications will be improved to reduce power consumption and to increase the reliability of the illumination through cooperation between fixtures and use of weather forecasting to adjust operations. These same attributes of energy-efficient lighting and smart controls will also save energy in on-the-grid applications such as commercial buildings. In Phase II, the fixtures will be commercialized and sold.

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