Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd showed a flexible polymer OLED lamp that can be manufactured with a pattern printing technology at ordinary temperatures and pressures.
The lamp was exhibited at Automotive Engineering Exposition (AEE) 2013, which took place from May 22 to 24, 2013, in Yokohama, Japan.
Unlike OLED lamps made with a vacuum deposition method, which requires large-scale equipment, the new OLED lamp can be manufactured with almost the same technology as used for ink-jet printers. This time, Sumitomo Chemical lighted several kinds of polymer OLED lamps formed on flexible substrates.
Because there are many curved surfaces inside a vehicle, the flexibility of the OLED lamp is advantageous, Sumitomo Chemical said. Specifically, the company expects that the lamp will be used as a ceiling lamp and a lamp for illuminating the floor, planning to start volume production in fiscal 2014.
For the volume production, Sumitomo Chemical intends to further extend the lives of the lamp's materials, realize luminance characteristics required by clients and improve yield ratio. At the AEE, the lamp emitted light for more than 20 hours.
OLED lighting devices are being actively developed both in and outside Japan.
"Many other companies are using low-molecular OLEDs," Sumitomo Chemical said. "In many cases, low-molecular types require vacuum deposition and, thus, are not very much suited for printing. On the other hand, printing technologies can be easily applied to our polymer OLEDs."
The company expects to use ink-jet and roll-to-roll technologies when the lamp is commercialized.