Organic LED technology makes car roofs transparent

BASF and Philips have integrated their latest organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology into car roofs to make them transparent.

The OLED light sources are 1.8mm thick and become see-through when they are switched off, allowing for a clear view outside the vehicle, yet provide light within the vehicle when switched on.

The entire surface of an OLED illuminates with diffused light, making it a very soft light source that produces fewer harsh shadows compared with point light sources.

‘This combination allows the driver to enjoy a unique open-space feeling while it generates electricity during the day and pleasantly suffuses the interior with the warm light of the transparent, highly efficient OLEDs at night,’ said Dr Felix Görth, head of OLEDs and organic photovoltaics at BASF Future Business.

Dr Dietrich Bertram, general manager of OLED Lighting at Philips, added: ‘This project provides impressive evidence of new possibilities with OLEDs and illustrates the potential of Philips’ Lumiblade OLED technology to help create innovative lighting applications that enhance people’s lives.’

BASF and Philips have co-operated closely since 2006 within the OLED 2015 initiative of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). BASF develops organo-chemical materials such as dyes that are used in the development and manufacture of OLEDs by Philips. Working together, the partners put the transparent OLED lighting technology into practice on a car roof.