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Partnership for Solid-State Lighting: Report of a Workshop
meability so low they could not measure it, and even those films could not keep moisture out. “The OLED itself,” he said, “is actually a much better permeability test than anything they have for measuring permeability.”
Private-Sector Investment in LEDs
Dr. Wessner asked how much is being invested in research by the firms represented at the workshop, by the U.S. government, and by other countries. Mr. Van Slyke said that Kodak had no allocation for OLED lighting and that all of its R&D is directed at display applications. This amounts to some 50 to 60 people, with a budget of over $10 million a year, “still a small amount.” Dr. Duclos said that General Electric has a three-year contract with the Department of Energy to demonstrate OLED lighting with higher efficiency than incandescent bulbs.
A Manufacturing Strategy
Dr. Duclos commented on work being done abroad, citing intense activity in Asia over the last three years. He said that Japanese firms had applied for some 8,000 patents related to OLEDs with the expectation that OLED displays would capture a significant fraction of the $50 billion display industry in the next 5 to 10 years. He said that one way to maintain leadership in OLEDs is to push the development of roll-to-roll manufacturing and flexible substrates, where the United States is the leader. He called for a government partnership in this area. Dr. Thompson added that the cost of substrates must come down before the industry can make an economic argument for OLED lighting.
Intense Activity in Asia
Dr. Bergh expanded on the subject of competitiveness. He agreed that in the last two years Japanese firms had issued some 9,000 patents in OLEDs. He cautioned that this figure could not be compared one to one with American or European patents, because the Japanese patent system permits only one claim per patent. To compare them, one has to divide the Japanese number by approximately three. Nonetheless, this figure is far higher than the number of patents obtained by European (400) and American (500) firms in the last year.
The Need for an Outside Force
Dr. Bergh also emphasized the importance of the differing requirements of the lighting and display sectors. Research on the two sectors can be combined only if an outside force guides the industry toward broader objectives. Industry will not voluntarily commit itself to lighting research if reliability and efficiency still have to be improved by more than an order of magnitude. Industry can only