Gildas Solin, CEO of Novaled AG, discussed the future of OLED in Tokyo. Novaled is a German company specializing in the development of OLED technology.
"The luminance efficiency of OLED for use in lighting equipment is 50lm/W at present, and this is more than double that of an incandescent bulb, which is up to 20lm/W," Solin said. "Our goal is to improve the luminance efficiency to 100lm/W, which, I believe, can be achieved in 2 years."
According to him, OLED and organic electronics technologies developed by Novaled are applied to four areas, ie display, lighting, solar cell and TFT.
"We have already succeeded in incorporating our OLED technologies in our existing LCD panel production process, although we have just started applying them (to the display area)," Solin said. "OLED is the direct evolution of LCD panels, not a revolution against them."
Because OLED has an advantage of low cost resulting from the reduction in thickness and the number of required parts, "every manufacturer has started to focus on OLED," he said.
In the lighting area, which Solin believes is the segment offering the most potential, he regards OLED as a "revolution" and claims that OLED lighting technology "will progress step by step."
Although leading light bulb manufacturers throughout the world are promoting the development of OLED in general lighting equipment, "OLED lighting products with a sophisticated design taking advantage of surface emission will hit the market first and then OLED will gradually be used in general lighting equipment," he said.
Solin places high hopes on "transparent lighting," which makes the windows shine, as well as the lighting equipment composed of tiled OLED panels measuring about 10 x 10cm attached on the walls or the ceiling.
"The key feature of OLED lighting equipment is the superior energy efficiency due to the high luminance efficiency," he said.
Furthermore, Solin pointed out that US, European and Japanese automakers are increasingly interested in OLED lighting equipment and investigating the applications for vehicle interior, dashboard and various kinds of lamps.
At present, solar cells with a layered structure using the OLED material only have a low conversion efficiency, but the company intends to improve it slowly but steadily. Thus far, Novaled entered into a partnership with one company and is promoting the joint development.
Solin also suggested that the organic TFT will be used for the drive TFT in OLED panels as well in the future, thanks to its extremely low production cost.
Novaled set up a Japanese branch office in late March 2008 to support the market for OLED displays, especially OLED TVs, in Japan.
"Other manufactures will follow Sony and move into the OLED TV business," Solin said.
In order to commercialize OLED lighting equipment, Novaled will make efforts to further strengthen the relationship with Japanese light bulb manufacturers.