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Beam-forming OLED with nanostructured fluorescence layer

Project description

Novel beamforming OLEDs for sensors

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) that are well-known from smartphone and TV displays hold great promise as light sources for future integrated sensors. The EU-funded BEAMOLED project aims to develop OLEDs with directional emission (beamforming) for efficient sensors. The project will expand on the success of a previous EU-funded project that demonstrated an on-chip OLED light source used to switch smart surfaces. To achieve the desirable beam characteristics, the project will develop OLED devices on top of a nanostructured fluorescence waveguide layer and a spacer layer. OLEDs using beamforming technology will offer new possibilities to a wide range of applications in industrial sensing as well as in point-of-need sensing.


The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 as well as the drive for point-of-care biomedical diagnostics is accompanied by a strong need for measuring physical, chemical and biomedical status data in real time with cost-efficient and low-maintenance sensors. With optical measurement techniques being widely employed, miniaturized optical sensor devices are highly promising. Light emitting diodes based on organic semiconductor materials (OLEDs) are experiencing a rapid market growth – in particular in the area of displays. Organic emitter materials may be tailored to any emission wavelength in the visible wavelength range. In addition, cost-efficient fabrication techniques are being developed, for example, based on roll-to-roll fabrication. These properties make OLEDs also very promising for sensor applications. As part of the ERC Starting Grant PhotoSmart (N°307800) we developed an OLED matrix as on-chip light source for switching light-sensitive “smart” surfaces for biosensor applications. OLED matrix devices for sensors require OLEDs with directional emission. We propose to fabricate OLED devices on top of a nanostructured fluorescence waveguide layer and a spacer layer. Wide-angle OLED light emitted is absorbed in the fluorescence layer. By appropriate choice of the fluorescence layer regarding absorption spectrum and emission profile of the photoluminescent emitters, efficient conversion of excitation light to emission into the waveguide is achieved. The design of the nanostructure allows the tailoring of the narrow-angle emitted beam characteristics. Within this project, we seek funds to support validation of our approach for the sensor application, to carry out evaluation of market needs, and to review IP with the goal to start a spin-off company.


Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
Olshausenstrasse 40
24118 Kiel

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Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein Kiel, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)