Fraunhofer integrates button-sized OLEDs into textiles

September 07, 2018 // By Julien Happich
As a partner for customer-specific OLED development and production, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology (FEP) has integrated foil-based button-sized OLED elements into textiles.

The versatile OLEDs can not only light in colour, they can also be designed in any shape and be made transparent or dimmable so they could progressively come to sight onto garments as they light up. The O-Button, as researchers at Fraunhofer FEP call the new OLED form factor, will be demonstrated at the Electronics System Integration Technology Conference ESTC 2018 from September 18 - 21, 2018 in Dresden.

Applications may not be limited to fashion trends but also to create distinctive brand and design elements.

OLED design and integration specialist in the field of flexible organic electronics at Fraunhofer FEP, Jan Hesse says the integration of luminous elements in clothing not only freshens up fashion designs, it can also create very concrete benefits: Luminous logos or applications are more easily noticed and considerably increase the visibility and thus the safety of the wearer, e.g. in road traffic. Their use would be conceivable, for example in workwear for night logistics.

Since researchers can adapt OLEDs to specific wavelength ranges, special applications such as in medicine are also conceivable. Infrared light, for example, is successful in the therapy of skin diseases. Shirts could be designed with integrated flat infrared lights for light therapy.


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