• OLED tech to debut at Frankfurt
LIGHTS NEWS FLASH: Light and energy-efficient OLED lights such as these could be the standard in future. Image: Audi
• Nnew level of homogeneity
• New design possibilitiesINGOLSTADT, Germany - Audi will present its next step in its automotive lighting programme at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show in September - Matrix OLED lights.
OLED? Organic light-emitting diodes, of course…
The automaker says the technology “will open further creative opportunities for design due to their thin and flat composition and significantly increased homogeneity”.
The upshot: they automaker says they will be even more adaptable within vehicle lighting installations than point light sources such as conventional light-emitting diodes.
Audi says the lights are “a perfect synthesis of high-tech engineering and design” and that initial projects are under way to use them in production rear lights.
They will be shown for the first time in a concept car at Frankfurt. The show will run from ???? to ???.
In each unit two electrodes – of which at least one must be transparent – incorporate numerous thin layers of organic semi-conductor material. A low DC voltage – three to four volts – activates the layers, each of which is less than one-thousandth of a millimetre thick, to light them.
The colour depends on the molecular composition of the light source.
In contrast to point light sources such as LEDs - which are made of semi-conductor crystals - OLEDs are flat light sources whose ability to dim or brighten is continuously variable. Audi says they cast no shadow and “do not require reflectors, light guides or other similar optical components”.
They also need little cooling.
GLASS NOW, PLASTIC LATER
Audi says OLED technology is developing rapidly and adds that as soon as greater light density si realised OLEDs will be able to generate turn signal and brake lights.
The thin glass sheets in use now to encase the organic material will be replaced by flexible plastic film which in turn will allow three-dimensional forming and so open up new directions for designers.
Audi has already shown the potential of OLED technology in many models and demonstrators. Special highlights are “OLED lighting” with transparent, multi-colored OLEDs in the silhouette of the car and “the swarm” - lights with a three-dimensional OLED display.
OLEDs, Audi explains, can also be sub-divided into small segments that can be controlled at various levels of brightness.