"The readout of the operating information can be done wirelessly, which is advantageous because it requires no physical or electrical contacts and thus avoids mechanical wear. In case the tag element can be read out by wire, this readout shall be possible without Ohmic losses, thus avoiding an undesirable heating of the OLED device that could interfere with its normal operation. Moreover, power efficiency is improved as no energy is lost to Ohmic loads.
"According to a preferred embodiment of the OLED device, the tag element comprises a pattern that can optically be detected. A typical example of such a pattern would be a barcode. An optical pattern has the advantage that it can be detected wirelessly by suitable optical sensors and that it can easily be produced and applied to an OLED device
"In another embodiment of the invention, the tag element comprises an electrode, called 'tag electrode' in the following, which is freely accessible disposed on the surface of the OLED device or disposed below a (thin) dielectric layer. Such a tag element can be read out wirelessly by a capacitive coupling of the tag electrode to a second electrode in a corresponding read-out device.
"In the aforementioned embodiment, the effective area of the tag electrode can be used to encode the desired operating information because this area determines the capacitance that can be achieved in combination with a second electrode (of known area) of a read-out device. Though the capacitance is a single scalar value, it may be possible to encode a plurality of operating parameters with it by a suitable one-to-many mapping between the value of the capacitance and the operating parameters.
"The tag element may optionally be disposed on the surface of the OLED device, thus being freely accessible to read-out sensors. Moreover, it is possible to apply such a surface tag element to an OLED device after the production of the latter.
"Alternatively, the tag element may be covered by an encapsulation, for example the same encapsulation that is usually present to seal the OLED. In case of a tag element that shall optically be detected, the encapsulating material should be transparent.
"Particular examples of the operating information that can be encoded by the tag element are driving parameters of the OLED device, for instance: a nominal, minimal and/or maximal driving current, driving power and/or driving voltage; a color-point, a color-temperature, and/or a white-point (particularly for OLED devices with several independently controllable primary colors); or a 'dimming enable' flag that determines if the OLED device can be dimmed or not.
"The invention further relates to a socket for an OLED device of the kind described above, wherein the term 'socket' shall refer to a unit that is mechanically and electrically compatible to the design of the OLED device. Typically it will be possible to plug the OLED device into the socket to achieve a stable mechanical and electrical connection. The socket shall comprise a read-out unit for reading out operating information from the OLED device (or, more precisely, its tag element). In this way it will be possible for the socket and/or a corresponding control device to operate the OLED device in accordance with its specifications.
"The aforementioned socket may particularly comprise an optical sensor for optically detecting a pattern on the tag element of an OLED device when this device is mounted to the socket. The optical sensor may for example comprise a light source for irradiating the pattern on the tag element and light sensitive sensors for detecting the light reflected from the pattern.
"In another embodiment, the socket may comprise an electrode, called 'counter-electrode' in the following, that capacitively couples to a 'tag electrode' on an OLED device with such an electrode when this device is mounted to the socket. This approach allows a contactless read-out with minimal power consumption.
"The operating information that has been read out from an OLED device can be further used or processed in different ways. A driver can for example only become active if the read operating information is compatible to its specifications. In a preferred embodiment, the socket comprises a control circuit for driving an OLED device mounted to the socket according to the operating information that has been read out from said OLED device. Thus the operating information on the tag element can have a direct effect on the way the OLED device is operated.
"The invention further relates to a lighting system comprising an OLED device of the kind described above and a corresponding socket of the kind described above.
"These and other aspects of the invention will be apparent from and elucidated with reference to the embodiment(s) described hereinafter. These embodiments will be described by way of example with the help of the accompanying drawings in which:"
For additional information on this patent, see: Hente, Dirk; Hendrik,
Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Light-emitting Diode,
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