By Nick Gilbert
The collaborative research project in printed electronics titled "Nanostructuring and plastic electronics print platform" (NanoPEP) and undertaken by BASF SE, TU Darmstadt and Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has achieved success in the first phase which involves the synthesis of functional nanomaterials and development of novel printing processes to facilitate the former.
The rotary printing press Gallus RCS 330 from the Swiss Gallus Group in which Heidelberg has 30% stake has been instrumental in producing functional elements under laboratory conditions in a clean room. The next phase of the project designated as NanoPEP2 involves the commercialization of these elements and the printing processes pertaining to it. In addition to these endeavors, practical demonstrations will be employed to illustrate the use of printed components.
Applications of the developed components range from organic LEDs to photovoltaics to organic circuits and storage devices. These organic electronic applications are based on technology that employs small organic molecules and conductive polymers that are deemed to be significant future technologies with great economic potential. The project is one of several such projects initiated by the cooperative network "Forum Organic Electronics.”
Headquartered in the Rhine-Neckar region, the cluster is promoted by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Backed by funding of €40 million from the BMBF, 27 companies, research institutes and universities that form the cluster, work jointly on research projects in the field of organic electronics.