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Fraunhofer merges COMEDD and FEP centers in Dresden

09 Jul 2014

Shared resources will benefit development of both flexible organics and OLED-based micro displays.

Two years on from the founding of COMEDD, the Center for Organic Materials and Electronic Devices, based in Dresden, Germany, there has been another significant development in the city’s high-tech research community. Research giant Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has decided to merge its Fraunhofer COMEDD and Fraunhofer FEP groups with the aim of pooling knowledge and capbilities in a single institution.

Research into organic electronics will be carried on under the name COMEDD at the Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam, Plasma Technology and COMEDD, to be called the Fraunhofer FEP.

Prof. Volker Kirchhoff, Director of the institute, commented, “Compared to current FEP’s focus on technologies and processes, COMEDD is concentrating on components and applications. With COMEDD’s expertise, Ilook forward to significant advances – especially in the area of barrier films for flexible organic components. Also, development of OLED-based microdisplays will benefit from the years of work in process technology and marketing at Fraunhofer FEP.”/p>

Stronger together

Fraunhofer FEP is noted for its expertise in processes and equipment in electron beam and plasma technology, while COMEDD will contribute with its experience and know-how in organic semiconductors and device development. The 220 employees of the merged group will now be able to offer customers and partners novel developments as a result of combined competences. For example, it is possible to apply electron beam sterilization developed at FEP onto OLED-on-silicon sensors from COMEDD in biomedical applications.

Dr. Uwe Vogel, Deputy Director of the institute and Division Head Microdisplays & Sensors, said, ”The merger of COMEDD and FEP is a ground-breaking step for future developments and activities of Fraunhofer in Dresden and at a key location for organic electronics, Saxony. By this merger, new approaches and research focuses, such as in flexible electronics, can be handled more efficiently.

“The joint long-standing projects of FEP and COMEDD, such as in the development of roll-to-roll technology for flexible organic lighting, are already a great basis for future cooperation. We, from COMEDD, particularly appreciate open and professional manner of Fraunhofer FEP’s employees in the course of integration.“

The integrated R&D center is informing customers and partners that they can continue working with existing contact persons in all technical areas. They can also benefit from supplementing of the portfolio and extension in the range of services. All previously-agreed contracts and confidentiality agreements between clients and FEP or COMEDD will remain valid.

Ines Schedwill, Head of Marketing at Fraunhofer FEP, told optics.org the reasoning behind the merger, “In Dresden there are several high-tech institutes. We did not want to have so many separate bodies working in the same areas because there has been much overlap in research areas, especially in vacuum deposition.

”The integration of the two centers represents an improvement in our capabilities because we are gaining access to a wider range of R&D resources which should lead to new developments, such as combining e-beam and organic technologies, for example. The new arrangement will be funded in the same way as existing Fraunhofer institutes, but we expect to be able to generate new business from a wider range of clients.”

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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