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27 September 2013 Flexible top-emitting OLEDs for lighting: bending limits
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Abstract
Flexible OLED light sources have great appeal due to new design options, being unbreakable and their low weight. Top-emitting OLED device architectures offer the broadest choice of substrate materials including metals which are robust, impermeable to humidity, and good thermal conductors making them promising candidates for flexible OLED device substrates. In this study, we investigate the bending limits of flexible top-emitting OLED lighting devices with transparent metal electrode and thin film encapsulation on a variety of both metal and plastic foils. The samples were subjected to concave and convex bending and inspected by different testing methods for the onset of breakdown for example visible defects and encapsulation failures. The critical failure modes were identified as rupture of the transparent thin metal top electrode and encapsulation for convex bending and buckling of the transparent metal top electrode for concave bending. We investigated influences from substrate material and thickness and top coating thickness. The substrate thickness is found to dominate bending limits as expected by neutral layer modeling. Coating shows strong improvements for all substrates. Bending radii <15mm are achieved for both convex and concave testing without damage to devices including their encapsulation.
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Philipp Schwamb, Thilo C. Reusch, and Christoph J. Brabec "Flexible top-emitting OLEDs for lighting: bending limits", Proc. SPIE 8829, Organic Light Emitting Materials and Devices XVII, 88291E (27 September 2013); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2025011
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