Flexible Organic Electronics

The strengths of the Fraunhofer FEP Flexible Organic Electronics business unit are technological innovation and innovative product development through use of numerous processes and facilities as well as a dedicated clean room. Various coating technologies are available, such as vacuum vaporization of organic and inorganic materials, atomic layer deposition (ALD) along with printing and laminating processes as well as laser ablation. Many of these processes can be carried out without breaking vacuum, as well as in combination with inert atmospheres. The precursor and deposition technologies are supplemented by powerful measurement and characterization facilities optimized for the electrical and optical analysis of OLEDs, organic solar cells, and photodiodes.

Development work for flexible OLED modules takes place using individual arched substrates as well as on rolls of materials (roll-to-roll processing). Processing of rigid substrates such as glass or metal plate is likewise available.

The business unit offers its clients the development of processes and technologies for efficient and cost-effective fabrication of innovative OLED lighting solutions. Typical jobs involve client-specific layout and fabrication of OLED demonstration samples for investigating new fields of application, stacked-layer development and efficiency increases for OLEDs, as well as evaluation of barrier films and other materials for flexible OLEDs.

Our Services

Fraunhofer FEP offers comprehensive expertise covering fabrication and processing of flexible substrates using organic electronics along the entire value-added chain.

  • Marketing and feasibility studies, advice, and training
  • Conceptualization and planning of an R&D project complete with PM work packages, milestones, and costing
  • Process and technology development of OLED illumination on both rigid and flexible substrates
  • Substrate structuring with client-specific layouts
  • Vacuum coating
  • Wet and hybrid processes
  • Encapsulation
  • Characterization
  • Application integration and control using client-specific layouts
  • Demonstrator development and fabrication
  • Pilot fab availability for small runs
  • Process transfers to other fabrication firms
  • Licensing

This development work is augmented and supported by:

  • Acquisition and coordination of projects funded by the state and federal governments as well as by the European Union
  • Economic viability studies

Applications

 

Light

Flexibility of lighting is the vision that fires up imagination of designers and architects. Flexible, personalized, ready to install lighting solutions would allow us to change spaces in buildings, cars and other means of transportation.

 

Smart building and
architecture

In architecture the coating of flat glass with energy-efficient layers for low-energy homes or for renovation of historical buildings is growing in importance. Developments at the Fraunhofer FEP on transparent heat-reflection, sun protection, and diffusion barrier layers on flat glas and flexible polymer substrates ...

 

Transport

Today’s cars reflect our individual preferences. A variety of functions can be implemented through thin-films technologies in optics, lighting and interior as well as through novel systems for connected mobility.
 

Solar energy

Solar energy is converted into heat and electrical energy using solar heating systems and photovoltaic systems, respectively. To develop these technologies further, more efficient systems and low cost manufacturing processes are required.
 

Packaging

The packaging sector is under enormous cost pressure: Packaging materials must not be too costly, but are enormously important for the quality and storage life of the end products. The technologies of the Fraunhofer FEP in the area of vacuum coating and surface modification with electrons are ideal for this task due to their high productivity and the excellent surface properties that can be achieved.
 

Medical applications

The growth in the medical technology sector is being accompanied by a great variety of innovations. The development of new products and medical equipment is often based on sophisticated starting materials.

 

Displays and
Wearables

Displays in consumer and professional applications are getting more and more sophisticated. Smart phones, wearables or TVs are equipped with numerous functions to interactively reflect and capture the world.

OLEDs on rigid or flexible substrates

◾Color control
◾Transparent
◾Structured
◾Dynamic optical output

on

◾Glass
◾Textiles
◾Plastic films
◾Metallic foils
◾Flexible thin glass, and much more

such as for

Backup lights and automobile interiors
◾Display components in packaging, automotive applications, and wearables
Designer applications
◾Lighting
Micro-scale features for visual displays
Medical and therapeutic applications
Flexible solar-cell modules
◾Transparent solar cells

Technologies

 

Technologies for organic electronics

The strength of Fraunhofer FEP is the availability of numerous processes and equipment as well as clean rooms that enable process development and innovation through combination of methods and processes. Fraunhofer FEP can access various coating technologies, as vacuum evaporation of organic and inorganic material, atomic layer deposition (ALD), print and lamination methods as well as laser ablation.

 

flex+

In the BMBF-funded flex+ Project Fraunhofer FEP has pioneered new paths in the design and development of flexible organic electronics, as well as charting the way for new applications and markets.

 

Technology transfer

  • technology transfer and introduction of the process into production
  • technology transfer including fitting plants with key components
    (also retro-fit of existing plants)
  • scale up of processes and technologies for industrial plants
 

Video

OLED – Light from small molecules

Several pilot and research fabrication lines are available in the 300 m² class-10 clean room for R&D as well as for pilot-scale production of organic light-emitting diodes and solar cells. We develop for you the best-possible application and technology according to your requirements. A selection of our equipment:

Projects

Project name Description
Pi-SCALE Shaping the future in OLED lighting
Hi-LED Human-centric Intelligent LED engines for the take up of SSL in Europe
GLADIATOR Graphene Layers: Production, Characterization and Integration
R2D2 Roll to Device 2
Flex+ Open Innovation Platform
TREASORES Transparent Electrodes for Large Area, Large Scale Production of Organic Optoelectronic Devices
LOIGB LED and OLED integration into glass and plastic composites for the use in lighting systems for railway and further applications
O-BUTTON Wearable modular device
bioElektron Biodegradable electronics for active implants
LAOLA Großflächige OLED Beleuchtungsanwendungen auf dünnen flexiblen Substraten
SmartEEs Bringing flexible electronics products to life
ACTPHAST 4.0 Accelerating Photonics innovation for SME’s: a one stop-shop-incubator
ACTPHAST 4R Accelerating Photonics deployment via one stop shop advanced technology access for researchers
OLEDSOLAR Innovative manufacturing of opto-electronic devices

Press





More information





The Fraunhofer FEP specializes in the development and manufacture of modern designs of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).

We offer a realization of customized OLED modules with a variety of functions and materials for the implementation of design ideas in luminous objects with OLED technology.

One example of this is the project Monarch, which illustrates the extraordinary properties of OLED technology such as flexibility, transparency, segmentation of the luminous surface and the possibility of realizing multi-color and color-variable surfaces and patterns in a single OLED design.

The OBUTTON, a small flexible OLED in shape of a button, is a developed standard OLED layout, which acts as the basis for the integration of light into textiles and clothing.

We offer the following selection of evaluation kits for an uncomplicated transfer into your customer-specific applications.

Please contact us for a quote.

Project Monarch

Size:

OLED only (one wing): 50 × 35 mm²

OLED with PCB: 50 × 85 mm²

Power consumption:

8 mA at 5 V per segment (6 segments per wing)

Power supply (per set of samples): 30 W DC

Electrical connection:

OLED:
Customer-specific FlexPCB with ACF connection

Control:
1/10'' (2.54 mm) female connector (max. 9 contacts)

Controller:

1x Arduino Nano (or similar) per pair of wings

We offer an OLED sample kit consisting of either a single sample (Single Kit, 2 wings) or three samples (Triple Kit) of different butterfly-shaped OLED module pairs. Each butterfly consists of two OLED modules (mirrored design).

OBUTTON
  • WS2811 driver integrated in every OBUTTON board
  • Glass-free, break-proof and lightweight
  • PCB diameter: 22 mm
  • OLED active area: 12 × 12 mm² (140 mm²)
  • Power consumption of 10 mA per button
  • 2 power supply connections (+; GND)
  • 2 data ports (IN; OUT)
OBUTTON I OBUTTON II OBUTTON II
  • monochrome – OLED emits in one color
  • brightness can be adjusted by dimming (PWM)
  • dualchrome – OLED emits in two colors – OLED features stacked OLED units with different colors
  • brightness of each color can be controlled
  • color mixing possible
  • monochrome – with two OLED segments addressable
  • monochrome OLED with three OLED segments individually addressable
  • In addition to the three OBUTTON types, we offer special options on request, such as specific emission colors or customer-specific OLEDs in shape and size.

    With these evaluation kits, the Fraunhofer FEP is glad to support your specific wishes for the development of your products. Just contact us if you are interested!

    Contact persons

    Christian May

    Contact Press / Media

    Dr. Christian May

    Division Director Flexible Organic Elektronics and Head of department R2R Organic technologies

    Fraunhofer FEP
    Maria-Reiche-Str. 2
    01109 Dresden

    Phone +49 351 8823-309

    Fax +49 351 8823-394

    Claudia Keibler-Willner

    Contact Press / Media

    Dipl.-Ing. Claudia Keibler-Willner

    Head of department S2S Organic technologies

    Fraunhofer FEP
    Maria-Reiche-Str. 2
    01109 Dresden

    Phone +49 351 8823-235