High refractive index polymer-based scattering layers used as internal light extraction layers are a promising low-cost approach to enhance the luminous efficacy of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). In order to avoid damaging of the OLED layers a structured and contactless deposition method for the polymer-based scattering layers is required. For enhanced lifetime of the devices the water diffusion through the scattering layer has to be eliminated by a structured patterning technique. Inkjet printing offers both a contactless and structured deposition. In this study we evaluate inkjet printing of nanocomposite polymer-based scattering layers for OLEDs. A detailed view on the material and process development is given. This involves an optimization of ink formulation, printing parameters as well as layer formation. The resulting haze values of the scattering layers at 550 nm vary between 40% and 90% for different layer thicknesses. The gain in external quantum efficacy of top-emitting OLEDs induced by light scattering compared to reference devices peaks at a factor of 2.3. The obtained results are discussed and verified by an optical volume scattering simulation model which will be presented in full detail. Also a parameter variation study and its impact on extraction efficiency will be shown.
Before the market entry of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) into the field of general illumination can occur, limitations in lifetime, luminous efficacy and cost must be overcome. Additional requirements for OLEDs used for general illumination may be imposed by workplace glare reduction requirements, which demand limited luminance for high viewing angles. These requirements contrast with the typical lambertian emission characteristics of OLEDs, which result in the same luminance levels for all emission angles. As a consequence, without additional measures glare reduction could limit the maximum possible luminance of lambertian OLEDs to relatively low levels. However, high luminance levels are still desirable in order to obtain high light output. We are presenting solutions to overcome this dilemma.
Therefore this work is focused on light-shaping structures for OLEDs with an internal light extraction layer. Simulations of beam-shaping structures and shapes are presented, followed by experimental measurements to verify the simulations of the most promising structures. An investigation of the loss channels has been carried out and the overall optical system efficiency was evaluated for all structures. The most promising light shaping structures achieve system efficiencies up to 80%.
Finally, a general illumination application scenario has been simulated. The number of OLEDs needed to illuminate an office room has been deduced from this scenario. By using light-shaping structures for OLEDs, the number of OLEDs needed to reach the mandatory illuminance level for a workplace environment can be reduced to one third compared to lambertian OLEDs.