Fraunhofer IAP opens pilot line for organic electronics

January 22, 2012 - The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP) in Potsdam-Golm and fab/cleanroom developer MBRAUN have commissioned a new "near industrial-scale" pilot line for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic solar cells.

The 15m-long pilot line, dubbed the Pilot Plant for Solution-based Processes for Organic Electronics at Fraunhofer IAP’s Application Center for Innovative Polymer Technologies, was commissioned during a two-day workshop last week (Jan. 15-16) entitled "Solution-based Organic Electronics: From Materials to Technology."

Showing the new ability to extend of previous laboratory-scale work, part of the ceremony apparently included showing a 1:20 scale bus shelter (10cm high), designed by a joint project of IAP and fdesign and funded by the Federal Ministry of Research. The mini-shelter is solar powered with partially transparent organic solar cells integrated into the roof and sidewall; OLEDs display the schedule or give light signals when a bus arrives. The Potsdam Fraunhofer Institute developed the OLEDs as well as the organic solar cells.

"The model shows that organic electronics has great design potential for energy-saving, intelligent lighting control and information systems," stated Armin Wedel, division director at Fraunhofer IAP. "To apply these technologies to life-size street furniture, the new pilot line now offers the possibility to realize organic electronic components under near-industrial conditions — a crucial prerequisite for the later transfer into commercial products."

Martin Reinelt, CEO of MBRAUN, added his hope that such partnerships can "strengthen the German research landscape in order to compete successfully with American and Asian research institutions. We also want to demonstrate the performance of German plant manufacturing."

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