Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Graphene as an alternative transparent electrode for OLEDs


The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP will show for the first time organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) on graphene at Plastic Electronics 2015 (6th − 8th of October 2015, fair area Dresden, booth 1549, joint booth of OES – Organic Electronic Saxony). These OLEDs are an interim result from the project GLADIATOR funded by the European Commission.

Until now transparent electrode materials for OLEDs have mainly consisted of indium tin oxide (ITO), which is expected to become economically challenging for the industry due to the shrinking abundance of indium. Therefore, scientists are intensively looking for alternatives. One promising candidate is graphene, whose application fields are more closely investigated in the project GLADIATOR („Graphene Layers: Production, Characterization and Integration“).

Organic LED with graphene from Graphenea as electrode

Fraunhofer FEP

The project GLADIATOR, which is funded by the European Commission, has reached its midterm and has already achieved some successes. The aim of the project is the cost-effective production of high quality graphene at large area, which can then be used for numerous electrode applications. The usability of such applications will be demonstrated at the Fraunhofer FEP by integrating this graphene in OLEDs.

With graphene as an electrode, the researchers at the Fraunhofer FEP hope for flexible devices with higher stability. Beatrice Beyer, project coordinator, says: “Graphene is a very interesting material with many possibilities. Because of its opto-electrical properties and its excellent mechanical stability, we expect that the reliability of flexible electronics will be improved many times over.”

Graphene is a rediscovered modification of carbon with two-dimensional structure, which has gained enormously in popularity since its successful isolation in 2004. Such so-called “monolayer” graphene is synthesized on a metal catalyst via a chemical vapour deposition (CVD) process and transferred by a further process step to a target substrate, such as thin glass or plastic film.

Here, it is very important that no defects are added which might reduce the quality of the electrode. In order to compete with the reference material ITO, the transparency and conductivity of graphene must be very high. Therefore, not only the process of electrode manufacturing is being optimized, but also different ways of doping graphene to improve its properties are being examined.

At the same time, the developed process steps must be easily scalable for later industrial use. These many challenges are faced by a highly innovative and committed project consortium consisting of sixteen partners from six EU member states and Switzerland.

The Fraunhofer FEP is coordinating the GLADIATOR project and acts as an end-user of the graphene electrode. Scientists examine the integration of graphene and compare it to the reference material ITO. The sophisticated material properties of graphene must be maintained during the integration in organic devices. To this end, several methods for cleaning and structuring the graphene must be modified.

In addition, the processes for different target substrates such as glass or flexible foil must be adapted and optimized. The first hurdles have been overcome thanks to a close cooperation between the consortium partners and the first defect-free OLEDs on transparent graphene electrodes have been realized on small areas. The target of the next one and a half years is to successfully illuminate large area OLEDs.

The GLADIATOR project will run until April 2017. By this time several types of OLED will have been made using graphene electrodes: a white OLED with an area of about 42 (cm)2 to demonstrate the high conductivity, and a fully-flexible, transparent OLED with an area of 3 (cm)2 to confirm the mechanical reliability.

Project website


Funding reference:
The project partners would like to thank the European Commission for funding of the project GLADIATOR (GA no. 604000).

Weitere Informationen:

Annett Arnold | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht From ancient fossils to future cars
21.10.2016 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Study explains strength gap between graphene, carbon fiber
20.10.2016 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>