Organic light emitting diodes (OLED) as novel and elegant or stylish light source have already found their way to the common furniture stores and can be purchased as pendants from the shelf by style-conscious customers. At the same time OLED is already on the daily agenda of light- and product designers in automotive industry. However, they are not merely famous for their comfortable luminous colour or their wide range of possibilities in the design of shape, colour and size. Also, the research focus in the field of medical applications and light therapy is more and more taking OLED into account for various scenarios. The advantage, to be able to create OLED light sources, which emit the light in special wave lengths helps to use OLED even for wound healing or for therapy of depressions.
Since 2016 partners within the European joint project PI-SCALE are working on the introduction of a joint pilot line in order to give access for the manufacturing of flexible OLED for SMEs in Europe. At Wearable Europe 2018 the Holst Centre from the Netherlands, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Fraunhofer FEP introduces a novel OLED wristband. This bracelet is representing one of the first wearable products with flexible organic electronics from the European pilot line.
Fraunhofer FEP was responsible for the anode deposition on barrier web, which has been produced by the project partner Holst Centre as well as for the OLED-deposition by using evaporation processes. The OLED-deposition at Fraunhofer FEP can be done in Roll-to-Roll (R2R) and Sheet-to-Sheet (S2S) processes. The Finnish experts of VTT integrated the ready-made OLED into a bracelet and developed the compact power supply for the whole system. The successful integration of the flexible OLED components into 3D injection moulded structures was challenging.
Markus Tuomikoski from VTT explains: “We used injection moulded structural electronics for the integration of the OLED. To meet the demands of a wearable device, the conception and realisation of a compact power supply system was necessary. In the end we realised a combination of flexible electronics and flexible OLED within our plastic moulded bracelet uncomplicated thanks to the positive joint work of the partners.”