Sustainable, flexible design creates new opportunities for product development, finds Frost & Sullivan’s TechVision Team
SANTA CLARA, California, Oct. 21, 2016 — In response to the growing demand for cost-effective and eco-friendly lighting devices, light manufacturers are creating a strong R&D pipeline of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) with improved operational efficiency, intuitive design and performance. The research focuses on innovating materials, tweaking the manufacturing process and integrating luminaries.
OLED Lighting – Global Challenges and R&D Focus Areas is part of the TechVision (Microelectronics) Growth Partnership Service program. It finds that manufacturers will develop suitable materials for substrates, electrodes, the transport/injection layer, electroluminescent layer and materials that enable better encapsulation. They have successfully lowered the cost of production by employing sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll manufacturing processes. Nonetheless, various research institutes are developing techniques that can aid cost-effective light extraction in order to further reduce the costs of OLED lighting applications.
“Due to the proven efficiency and low cost of LEDs, OLED lighting must outperform them to gain acceptance and adoption, especially in general lighting applications,” said TechVision Research Analyst Brinda Manivannan. “However, as a sustainable and greener technology that offers freedom of design and flexibility, OLED lighting enjoys numerous opportunities for new product development, particularly in the automotive, aerospace, healthcare, defense, architectural/decorative lighting, and general illumination industries.”
Currently, various research institutes are working on solutions that can expedite the development and commercialization of next-generation OLED lighting across diverse applications. The main technical issues they need to resolve include the expense of scaling up OLED lighting applications, its high sensitivity to voltage changes and micro damages at the surface layer, as well as its vulnerability to environmental changes. Manufactuerers also need to ensure that they will not be hindered by an unstructured value chain, low end-user acceptance, inadequate product differentiation or low integration with existing technologies.
“Apart from companies, government agencies all over the world are providing substantial funding to accelerate the commercialization of OLED-based lighting applications,” noted TechVision Research Analyst Jabez Mendelson. “Government bodies in Europe and North America will invest heavily in OLED lighting in the near term, while the burgeoning population and presence of consumer electronics manufacturers makes Asia-Pacific an important market as well.”
In the long term, stakeholders’ desire to leverage the differentiating features of OLED to gain competitive advantage is expected to drive research trends. Once the benefits and customizability of OLED are established, customers will adopt the technology in niche application areas.