HANNOVER MESSE 2019, 01 - 05 April
switch to:
Research & Technology

Stainless steel replaces glass as a substrate in OLEDs

According to the Fraunhofer FEP, a film made of stainless steel could be used as a substrate even in flexible electronic components in the not too distant future. This opens up new fields of application.

17 Dec. 2017
Claudia Witte
Fraunhofer FEP
Stainless steel replaces glass as a substrate in OLEDs (picture: Fraunhofer FEP)

Stainless steel films have also been used in thin-film photovoltaic and batteries for several years now. The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam, and Plasma Technology FEP recently presented an organic light-emitting diode on wafer-thin stainless steel , which was developed together with Nippon Steel & Sumikin Materials (NSMAT) and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (NSSMC).

Stainless steel is also going to be used as a substrate in flexible electronic components. In contrast to conventional substrate materials such as glass or plastic, the material has special properties that make it well suited as a substrate in OLEDs. Large homogenous light guides with good heat dissipation and operation under current densities > 10 mA/cm² are easier to realize, thanks to the planarization layer developed by NSSMC and stainless steel’s comparatively good thermal conductivity. "We may already see OLED on stainless steel in cars as turn signals or tail lights, in facade cladding or in displays in as little a three years," said NSMAT manager Jun Nakatsuka.