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Enhanced Light Extraction from Organic Light Emitting Diodes

Ames Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryAmes Laboratory researchers have developed a soft lithography microlens fabrication and array that enables more efficient organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), improving their commercial viability.
DescriptionOLEDs have received considerable attention for applications such as lighting and displays because they consume less energy than other technologies such as liquid crystal displays; in addition, they produce higher quality images since the pixels in an OLED generate their own light which can be turned off to make a pixel truly black and create a high contrast ratio.  However, OLEDs have not gained much commercial traction for lighting applications because they are expensive to manufacture and because there are intrinsic lighting inefficiencies due the OLED structure causing emitted light to be internally reflected or lost through edge emission.  To overcome these drawbacks, Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a microlens array design and fabrication method that creates a new (micro)luminaire that is structurally integrated with the OLED pixel. The microlens array is produced using low cost soft lithography techniques on the substrate of OLEDs and enhances light extraction.  In addition, it is suitable for all colors, including white, and can be used for any configuration, pixel size, or pixel shape.  Since this microlens array makes OLEDs more efficient and since it can be manufactured using an economically viable method, it also makes commercial applications for OLEDs more practical.Benefits
  • Economical (production does not require a clean room and uses low cost microtransfer molding technique)
  • Efficient (100% enhancement of light extraction has been demonstrated experimentally)
  • Versatile (can be used for all colors and any pixel size or shape as well as any configuration)
Applications and IndustriesLighting and displays.More InformationA 100% enhancement of the electroluminescence (EL) output compared to OLEDs with conventional structure has been demonstrated experimentally, and Iowa State University, The Ames Laboratory Contractor, is seeking partners interested in commercializing this technology.Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
03831PrototypeAvailable12/06/201212/06/2012

Contact AMES About This Technology

To: Stacy Joiner<joiner@ameslab.gov>