Business News | Oct 09, 2009

Ledon OLEDs: Zumtobel Group and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Invest in Innovative OLED Technologies

Along with its ongoing activities in the field of LEDs, the Zumtobel Group of Austria is also investing in OLEDs, a technology with a bright future. To this end, and subject to approval by the anti-trust authorities, the lighting group will be joining forces with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and several employees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) in Dresden, to found a joint venture company by the name of "Ledon OLED Lighting GmbH & Co. KG”. Ledon OLED will be based in Dresden, a key location for OLED technology in Europe. The company, which aims to set up a team of 10-15 highly qualified specialists in its initial year, will be focusing on the development and production of pioneering light modules based on organic light-emitting diodes.
"Organic light-emitting diodes are where the future lies when it comes to wide-area lighting solutions. By setting up Ledon OLED we are one of the early movers investing in this technology of the future. This aligns well with our claim, as innovation leader, to develop pioneering solutions for our customers based on leading-edge technology,” explains Zumtobel Group CEO Andreas Ludwig.
The main field of application for the innovative OLED modules will be actual lighting tasks: "We are out to offer our customers new and customised solutions involving the use of high quality OLED light modules in luminaires and signage lighting. Our unique approach in this respect is entirely dependent upon close collaboration between all parties,” emphasised Jörg Amelung, co-founder and future Managing Director of Ledon OLED.
Along with the production of OLED panels, Ledon OLED will in particular be developing and manufacturing complete OLED lighting solutions including extremely robust contact and light-conducting elements, as well as concepts for addressing large-scale OLED systems. Ledon OLED will be drawing up a strategic agreement with Fraunhofer Gesellschaft governing pilot production on the Fraunhofer IPMS pilot line in Dresden. This world-beating production line can turn out high-efficiency OLED panels on 370 x 470 mm2 substrates with a cycle time of three minutes.
The Directors of the Fraunhofer IPMS, Prof. Hubert Lakner and Prof. Karl Leo, have hailed the foundation of Ledon OLED as a major milestone on the road to a European OLED industry: "Merging the manufacturing expertise of the Fraunhofer IPMS with the experience of a leading provider of professional lighting solutions like the Zumtobel Group will greatly accelerate the market launch of high quality OLEDs for lighting applications and provide key impetus for the ongoing development of this technology of the future.”
More about OLEDs:
An organic light-emitting diode (OLED) comprises a system of thin organic layers (approx. 100-200 nanometres thick), located between two electrode layers (anode and cathode). Printed onto a glass substrate, this wide-area light source is less than 2 millimetres thick. When a voltage is applied, light is generated within the system of layers and emerges through one of the electrode layers. In contrast to conventional light sources, OLEDs give off wide-area light with high-quality colour rendering, which is very pleasant for the human eye. Another advantage is that there is no glare to the light emitted by OLEDs. As a result, OLEDs need no reflectors to reduce glare, which puts them among the most efficient light sources of all.

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