The patent's inventors are Albrecht, Andrew S. (
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "This disclosure relates to a method of forming and the resultant design of a large area flexible light source. More particularly, the disclosure relates to the method and design of a flexible OLED light source where small area flexible OLEDs are manufactured and integrated into a large panel.
"Currently, manufacturing capabilities and material property limits constrain the size of the individual organic light emitting diode (OLED) devices to a relatively small dimension. By relatively small dimension is meant an area on the order of millimeters squared or centimeters squared, i.e, less than 100 cm.sup.2 when contrasted with a large area lighting panel greater than this and on the order of feet square meter squared. Therefore, in order to obtain a large area lighting panels, individual OLEDs need to be tiled together to form the larger product.
"Another issue is that current OLED materials are sensitive to oxygen and moisture. As a result, individually encapsulated OLED devices require an edge seal of some nominal width, that is, the perimeters of individual OLED devices are hermetically sealed. When positioned or tiled together in a group to form the desired large-area lighting panels, each of the individual edge seals has an adverse impact on the total illuminated area of the panel. This is generally referred to as 'fill factor' or 'filling factor' where the entire area of the large area lighting panel is not light emitting, and therefore the filling factor is measured as the proportion of the surface area that is illuminated or emits light relative to the total surface area of the panel.
"In prior arrangements, designers generally appear to focus on total light output of the array of individual OLED devices that are joined together, and therefore ignore or do not emphasize the non-light emitting portions of the assembly. For example, when designing large area OLED panels, a typical approach is to assemble multiple glass-substrate OLED devices that are individually hermetically sealed about each of their perimeters, and arrange the sealed OLED devices in tiled fashion on a rigid frame. This approach overlooks at least two important criteria. First, this design approach fails to minimize the non-light emitting portions of the assembly that result from the sealing material that encapsulates the individual OLED devices in the large area panel and, second, ignores the goal of flexibility (where flexibility is generally defined as the ability to conform or bend the panel, without damage, to a radius of curvature on the order of about five centimeters).
"Accordingly, a need exists for a large area OLED light source, and method of forming same, and one that maximizes the fill factor and more desirably provides for a flexible panel."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "A light emitting assembly includes a backplane having a first surface area and an impermeable layer. At least first and second light emitting devices are received on the first surface of the backplane, each light emitting device having a surface area less than the first surface area and electrically connected to an associated external driver. The first and second light emitting devices are positioned on the backplane in contiguous relation without a hermetic edge seal therebetween, and an encapsulating material is received over and sealing the first and second light emitting devices. The hermetic edge seal is defined as the seal that joins the two outer-most impermeable substrates of the panel, e.g. glass, backplane, or transparent ultra high barrier film. In some instances, another seal may be provided on the individual devices prior to tiling and final encapsulation. This OLED device seal is often implemented to help protect the OLED device from mechanical damage, and partially contribute to the overall barrier properties of the OLED panel.
"The exemplary embodiment includes first and second OLEDs as the light emitting devices.
"Preferably the backplane is flexible in one embodiment.
"The backplane includes an impermeable metal foil with an insulator applied to one face, the insulator adhesively securing the light emitting devices thereon.
"The backplane is impermeable to oxygen and water vapor, and may be insulated on only the first surface, or on both first and second surfaces. A transparent ultrahigh barrier film is then laminated on top of the light emitting devices, creating a hermetic package.
"In one arrangement, conductive traces are applied on the insulator before the OLEDs are placed on the insulator and electrically connected to the traces.
"In another arrangement, openings are formed in the backplane and metal patches laminated over the insulator and the OLEDs electrically connected to the patches. A transparent ultra high barrier film is then laminated on top of the OLEDs to create the hermetically sealed package.
"The light emitting devices may be connected in series, parallel, independently, or to a single common bus.
"A primary benefit is the provision of a large area light emitting assembly where the fill factor is significantly improved.
"Another benefit is that the large area light assembly is flexible.
"Still another benefit is associated with providing a conductive network for electrically connecting the light emitting devices and use of an encapsulation layer to protect the entire panel from oxygen and moisture.
"Still other benefits and advantages of the present disclosure will become more apparent from reading and understanding the following detailed description."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Albrecht, Andrew S.; Kostka, James Michael. Large-Area Flexible OLED Light Source. U.S. Patent Number 8618731, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Chalcogens,
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