GE demonstrates roll-to-roll organic LED manufacturing

The cost of manufacturing organic LEDs will need to fall dramatically if they’re ever going to be a competitive lighting technology — i.e. attractive to mainstream consumers. GE announced today it has demonstrated a roll-to-roll manufacturing process that spits out organic light-emitting diodes the same way newspaper presses spit out tomorrow’s news. The company is calling it a “major milestone,” and said the process could also be adapted to produce organic solar PV cells and rollup displays. “It’s now easier to envision OLEDs becoming another high-efficiency GE offering, like LEDs, fluorescent, halogen or high-efficiency incandescent,” said Michael Petras, vice-president of electrical distribution and lighting at GE Consumer and Industrial. The demonstration comes after a four-year, $13 million research collaboration between GE Global Research, Energy Conversion Devices (ECD), and the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. ECD’s subsidiary, United Solar Ovonic, is using the approach to mass-produce its flexible Uni-Solar brand solar laminates, the company said.