For several years now, stainless steel foil has been used in thin-film photovoltaics and batteries, and the substrate has been proven as a viable substrate for flexible electronic components. Compared to more conventional substrate materials such as glass or plastic web, stainless steel offers a better thermal conductivity. Thanks to a roll-to-roll compatible planarization layer developed by NSSMC, the good thermal conductivity of stainless steel makes it suitable to achieve homogenous large-area OLED lighting surfaces supporting current densities over 10 mA/cm². What’s more, stainless steel provides excellent barrier properties against environmental influences, effectively protecting OLEDs from water vapour and oxygen.
Jun Nakatsuka, Manager of Business Development at NSMAT estimates that within three years from now, OLEDs designed on a stainless steel substrate could make their way into cars, as turn indicator and back-up lights, as cladding for fascia, and as advertising displays. The collaboration with NSMAT and NSSMC helped Fraunhofer FEP work out quality standards necessary for the future OLED fabrication, including the surface properties of the substrate.
The OLED on stainless steel will be exhibited during aimcal 2017 in Tampa/USA.
Fraunhofer FEP – www.fep.fraunhofer.de