Holst Can Make Washable LED Clothing

Paul Breddels spoke for the Holst Centre in Eindhoven which is a research centre working on the integration of electronics in and on flexible foils. Applications are in lighting, display, solar, medical and automotive sectors.

Applications include integrating drive electronics for a simple segment OLED onto the film that the OLED is made on. The centre also has a lot of experience of putting LEDs on foil. Holst can put intelligence into the pixel using oxide TFTs on a foil layer and these will be used for information display applications. By 2017, the centre hopes to be able to make full colour pixel displays based on LED technology and fully flexible foil.

Holst is working with Taiwanese companies to develop roll to roll-produced films of LED arrays. It is also working on integrating LEDs into textiles and has even developed materials with LEDs that can be used to make clothing and passed through washing machines multiple times!

We asked Breddels about the use of these LED arrays for information displays, rather than, for lighting and clothing. There is a long way to go to match current LEDs in contrast and brightness. Initially the centre will work on a tiling-based approach, because big displays use so many LEDs and defects can cause a lot of trouble if they are in big sheets. Researchers are also looking at using metal foils as they can be painted black and help with the issue of heat dissipation.

The group can already build a 55″ class FullHD panel that could display TV, but, of course, this would only be interesting if the cost of the LEDs was extremely low.

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The big issue with LEDs is temperature control and heat dissipation if you only have a thin film with low mass, especially in high brightness applications. (BR)