Fraunhofer Institute opens up new pilot line for organic electronics

February 11, 2013 // By Julien Happich
Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic solar cells can now be developed at Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam-Golm in a near-industrial scale.

The new pilot line was designed and implemented by Fraunhofer IAP in cooperation with the plant manufacturer MBRAUN. Fraunhofer IAP's pilot line for solution-based processes is located in a clean room and measures a length of 15 meters.

Within a joint project with Fraunhofer IAP, funded by the Federal Ministry of Research, the Potsdam office for product design has built a bus shelter model at the 1:20 scale, only ten centimetres high. Energy efficient OLEDs display the schedule or give light signals when a bus arrives. Their energy comes solely from the sun: in the roof and the side wall, organic solar cells are integrated, which are partially transparent. 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. 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," explains Dr. Armin Wedel, Division Director at Fraunhofer IAP. Until now, the researchers developed the components only on a laboratory scale. OLEDs and organic solar cells are used not only in architecture, for designers or applications in textile and life sciences industry, they are very interesting, as well − especially due to the possibility to make flexible devices. Fraunhofer IAP's pilot line for solution-based processes is located in a clean room and is 15 meters long.


Photo: © MBRAUN