Photonics Public Private Partnership

An EU funded project to develop the supply chain and production methodologies for the next generation of lighting products

Image of Tungsten blubTungsten Image of Halogen blubHalogen Image of CFL blubCFL Image of LED blubLED Image of OLED blubOLED
Lifetime (hrs) 800 5000 5000 50000 20000
Efficiency (lm/W) 8-10 20-30 50-60 60-80 40-100


The Flexolighting programme targets future full scale up of novel systems for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) manufacture, specifically bridging the gap between new research prototypes and low cost mass production technologies.

This three-year programme will develop a set of new materials, methods and processes to address the key issues of lifetime, light uniformity over large areas and manufacturing on flexible or conformable surfaces that currently limit OLED technology being widely adopted as a new lighting system of choice for an entire range of potential applications.

The Programme

The programme is designed specifically to adopt, adapt, develop and then enhance key lab based and early development stage reel to reel capable printing technology currently outside the OLED production field (which are currently state of the art within their own specific technological areas) and then apply it to the challenges of OLEDs. It will leverage radical new developments in thin steel substrates with conductive coatings and planarization layers. Further, the project will integrate low-cost processes and tools, such as dedicated ink jet printers and organic vapour phase deposition (OVPD) systems in conjunction with extraction layers and design approaches to reach a targeted set of performance parameters including resolution, process stability and multilayer lamination based on the adoption of thin, low-cost, lightweight high-throughput printed systems.

This will aim to reach a set of stretch targets to enable OLED lighting systems to be fully productionised but at a lower cost.

The project will not only ensure the successful production of OLED lighting panels at a competitive cost but will also create unique know-how for European manufacturers to create sustainable technology and jobs in both materials and equipment manufacture.


  1. Developing low cost OLED materials
  2. Processing methodologies (Vacuum Thermal Evaporation (VTE), Organic Vapour Phase Deposition (OVPD) and Printing).
  3. Develop the entire supply chain for OLED manufacturing
  4. Develop low cost processes suitable for mass manufacturing
  5. Develop demonstrators

In essence, Flexolighting will take lab and early scale up vapour phase and printing deposition technologies and merge them together to target a low cost high performance integrated productionised system for maximum performance gain at minimal cost. This will include assessments of the impact of the Flexolighting concept on basic manufacturing issues such as standardisation as well as determine the issues raised by adopting print technologies on end of life/disposal and recyclability. Given the wide range of production technologies to be considered, detailed assessments of the design of a sustainable manufacturing network will also be addressed.

The programme will use all vacuum thermal evaporated devices as the benchmark and optimise the individual layers by appropriate lower cost or higher material utilisation technologies. The unique printable light extraction films on steel substrates will enable high efficiency lighting systems.

We anticipate significant cost reduction through a hybrid processing model in combination with low cost phosphorescent and TADF materials. If three out of six layers are printed and two layers with deposited via OVPD up to 50% savings could be made in the production cost with a further 20% savings by using the low cost TADF or high efficiency materials developed by Brunel University London.

Supply Chain Development

Image showing the Felxolighting supply chain

Targets and Stretched Targets

Area Target Stretch Target
High efficiency OLED lighting panels 100 lm/W (with external light extraction facilities, 40 lm/W without light extraction enhancements) 120 lm/W (with external light extraction facilities, 50 lm/W without light extraction enhancements)
Life-time (t0.97) 1,000 hours at 5000 cdm-2 2,000 hours at 5000 cdm-2
Life-time (t1/2) 20,000 hours at 5000 cdm-2 50,000 hours at 5000 cdm-2
Colour Rendering Index (CRI) Greater than 80% Greater than 90%
Tile (Panel Size) 100 mm x 100 mm 300 mm x 300 mm
Uniformity Greater than 90% Greater than 95%
Voltage Drop Less than 0.1 V Less than 0.1 V
CIE Colour Coordinates (0.33±0.01), (0.33±0.01) (0.33±0.01), (0.33±0.01)
Cost €120/m2 €90/m2
Cost per klm €10 €9
Cost per 100 lm €1 €0.90


The OLED display and lighting markets are forecast to grow significantly (up to 20%) over the next 10 years according IDtechEX.

Graph shoing the OLED Display and lighing market forecasts

Source: IDTechEx


Flexolighting Advantage

Diagram of Opportunities


Electroluminescent Organic and Quantum Dot LEDs: The State of the Art, P Kathirgamanathan, L M Bushby, M Kumaraverl, S Ravichandran, S Surendrakumar, J Displ. Technol, Vol 11, No 5, 2015, 480, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=7073586






Brunel University London
Marks and Spencer
TATA Steel Europe
Robinson Brothers