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New Dresden Fraunhofer for OLED and solar R&D

04 Jul 2012

Research and development spin out of Fraunhofer IPMS to focus on "in-demand" OLED display and solar cell technologies.

A new Fraunhofer Research Institution, the Fraunhofer COMEDD, has this week opened in Dresden, Germany. COMEDD, the Center for Organic Materials and Electronic Devices Dresden, a former department of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Fraunhofer IPMS), has been established as an independent institute under the umbrella of Europe's largest organization for applied R&D.

Prof. Karl Leo, director of the new Fraunhofer COMEDD, said he is confident that the foundation of the new center will concentrate and make more effective research into organic light-emitting diodes and solar cells possible.

He commented, “This development reflects the high level of acceptance in the field of organic electronics that COMEDD has achieved in recent years. Fraunhofer COMEDD is now a central part of Europe’s leading cluster for organic electronic, Organic Electronics Saxony (OES), with more than 1000 employees.

“This foundation represents an important milestone in progressing research and development in organic electronics. At the moment we see a large demand for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) based microdisplays, suggesting a new world of applications. Additionally, the new institution opens novel perspectives for the strategic development of new business areas, for which we are now intensively preparing.”

COMEDD believes that OLEDs as area lighting elements and organic solar cells as mobile energy source will soon be commonplace in everyday life. The organization states, “OLEDs integrated in microchips as microdisplays for interactive data eye-glasses and sensor solutions can revolutionize the world of optoelectronics.”

The Fraunhofer COMEDD institute was founded as an independent research institution of the Fraunhofer group in order to transfer the results of research and development in the field of organic materials and systems to production. The institution combines research and development works for the production, integration and technology of organic devices. Its commercial focus is on customer- and application-oriented research, development and pilot fabrication of novel module concepts and fabrication methods for organic materials.

Fraunhofer COMEDD offers a wide range of research, development and pilot production possibilities, especially for OLED lighting, organic solar cells and OLED microdisplays. Its cleanroom features the following equipment: a pilot line for the fabrication of OLEDs on 370x470 mm2 substrates; two pilot lines for 200 mm wafers for the integration of OLED on silicon substrates; and a research line for roll-to-roll fabrication on flexible substrates.

Prize-winning Center
Only last month, Professor Leo was awarded the German Vacuum Society’s Rudolf-Jaeckel-Prize for his pioneering research work in physics of organic semiconductors and its application in optoelectronics particularly for OLEDs and organic solar cells.

He commented that he saw the prize as a stimulus for the research activities at the Technical University Dresden and the further transfer of these into practice at the new Fraunhofer COMEDD. “The award is further recognition of the work of our team into organic technologies for fascinating applications such as displays, novel lighting, and flexible solar cells.”

Network expansion
This German development of the Fraunhofer network follows May’s announcement of the launch of its first UK outpost, the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics in Glasgow, which is intended to become a hub for industry-driven laser research and technology aimed at exploiting Scotland’s photonics expertise in this sector.

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Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org

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