The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP and three other German companies have been commissioned by a Chinese producer to develop an OLED production facility for its site in China. The four development partners have formed the consortium GOTA - German OLED Technology Alliance – in order to develop, under one roof, the materials and technologies needed for printed electronics and machine engineering.
According to the announcement the new production facilities will be able to print large quantities of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) for a special application. The preliminary work on the new production facility is being conducted by the partners in Germany. This requires expertise in many areas, including plant engineering for clean room conditions, inert gas technology, inkjet printing and vacuum deposition.
The Fraunhofer IAP will take on the development of printable OLED materials and the OLED modules. The processes for producing the OLED application will be developed at its own pilot plant for organic electronics in Potsdam-Golm.
The basic processes were developed at IAP's pilot plant in Potsdam. In the coming six months the processes will be transferred to the production plant, which is currently being constructed in Munich by MBraun. Where all of the partners' process equipment will be integrated into a single manufacturing system.Once the system is fully tested and operational it will then be disassembled and shipped to its intended destination in China and reassembled, commissioned, and under go operational testing by Dr. Wedel’s team to ensure the manufacturing system is ready for initial production.
The Fraunhofer IAP states that it has been conducting research on organic electronic systems for 20 years and focuses on solution-processed devices used in OLEDs, OTFT, OPV, perovskite solar cells, sensors and actuators. Several processing technologies are available in a large clean room. These include spin coating, material evaluation in lab devices, advanced processing technologies, such as inkjet printing and high-precision slot die coating on a robot-controlled S2S pilot line for dimensions up to 150 mm x 150 mm, and various evaporation and encapsulation technologies.
Dr. Armin Wedel, OLED expert and division director at the Fraunhofer IAP, said, "As a member of GOTA we are able to offer the market a turnkey production facility for OLED applications. The Fraunhofer IAP fills the gap between the requirements made by the customer and the challenges involved in machine engineering. Mechanical engineering companies are generally not positioned to develop processes."