Intelligent OLED lighting system

Problem Definition:

OLEDs (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) are paper-thin, flexible and lightweight electronic devices. They consist of organic materials which emit light in response to an electric current. OLEDs consume up to 70% less energy compared to conventional light sources. This makes OLED technology a prime candidate for the next generation of energy-saving lighting. Another interesting characteristic is that they can take on any possible design. Application areas for these OLED systems are energy-efficient wall, ceiling and car dome lighting (they can be integreted in the lining of a car), where the light intensity can be adjusted intelligently, e.g. according to the time of the day or weather conditions. Before flexible large-area OLED lighting can be commercialized, more R&D is needed to solve some outstanding challenges. These areas mainly concern the driving electronics, power distribution, human interface and other added functionality (e.g. sensing). One important problem related to the OLED itself is the degradation of the OLED in time. This should be compensated by an intelligent system driving the OLED.


The aim in this thesis is to develop an intelligent system to drive an OLED or an OLED panel (consisting of different OLED tiles as shown in the picture on the left). One important element will be the design of a feedback loop to eliminate non-uniformities between different tiles or to compensate OLED degradation effects, so that the lifetime of the OLED system can be enlarged. Furthermore, some sensors to enable human interaction features can be added to the system. One could e.g. embed motion, touch or sound sensors. With the aid of such local intelligence in a lighting wall or ceiling, the light could actually follow the position of a person. Furthermore, advanced communication features, e.g. by means of power-line communication (PLC) techniques across the power supply lines, can enable intelligent brightness control from a central unit. The communication between the OLED driver chip and the central CPU should be bidirectional. By using the power lines, additional communication lines are avoided, resulting in less complex interconnections patterns on the backplane of the OLED panel. Of course, some kind of address assignment (e.g. by means of an on-chip FLASH address register or through dynamic auto-configuration) is needed to distinguish between all chips in the system.

The electronics will be implemented on board or on chip level depending on the preference of the thesis student. The student is also free to choice on which of the different subtasks described above he wants to focus.


OLED, lighting, IC-design, smart power, simulation, CAD, optical feedback, PLC


Ardoyen CMST + at home.