Merck KGaA, Applied Materials, Inc. and Braunschweig University of Technology (TU-BS) announced that they have been awarded a grant by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to develop processes to lower the cost of manufacturing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting. Applied Materials will spearhead the three-year project, named Light InLine (LILi), joining forces with Merck and TU-BS. Work on the LILi project will be centered at the advanced development facility of Applied Materials in Alzenau, Germany.
Fabricated on sheets of glass, OLED tiles can emit white light that is brighter, more uniform and more energy-efficient than fluorescent light fixtures, making them well-suited for ceiling lights in homes and offices. Obstacles to be overcome before this technology can be widely adopted include limited lifetime, lack of standardization and high costs. The LILi project aims to address these challenges by developing large-area manufacturing processes using high-performance organic materials and efficient device design.
“Merck has a wealth of experience in developing and scaling up the complex organic compounds that are essential for stable and cost-effective OLED manufacturing,” said Dr. Udo Heider, Vice President Liquid Crystals/ OLED, Merck KGaA. “The LILi project is a great opportunity for us to test new organic materials in state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment in order to validate their stability and performance on large-area substrates.”
The total costs of the OLED project will amount to around € 7.49 million. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research will provide funding of around € 3.26 million; the industry partners will contribute around € 4.23 million. The grant (FKZ 13N10611) is part of the BMBF’s “OLED 2 – Organic Light-emitting Diodes - Phase 2” initiative, which seeks to support OLED collaborative research and encourage OLED manufacturing in Germany.