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24 March

Ultra-thin Glass on Roll for flexible Electronics in Dresden

With support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), technology development partners Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, SCHOTT AG, VON ARDENNE GmbH and tesa SE have been developing new applications for ultra-thin glass on roll since...
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With support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), technology development partners Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, SCHOTT AG, VON ARDENNE GmbH and tesa SE have been developing new applications for ultra-thin glass on roll since 2013 in the research consortium KONFEKT. The partners are planning to introduce the first results together at an international technology and networking event, VISION | Flexible Glass, April 4-5, at Fraunhofer FEP in Dresden, Germany.

Glass which is bendable and flexible enough that it can be transferred directly from the melt to the roller for wrapping is not something out of a science fiction film, but rather an actual product for the here and now. At the leading international exhibition for printed electronics, LOPEC, March 28-30 in Munich, each of the partners will have flexible thin glass on display at their respective exhibition booths (Hall B0: Fraunhofer FEP, booth 318; SCHOTT, booth 106; VON ARDENNE, booth 210). The international technology group SCHOTT is presenting several types of ultra-thin glass from its portfolio, which, due to their measure of flexibility, can not only be wrapped around a finger, but also onto rolls. The highlight at the company booth is a close-to-production prototype of ultra-thin glass on roll, which is currently being further developed and optimized through mid-2018 under the auspices of the research project KONFEKT in close cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik (Fraunhofer FEP), the specialty adhesive tape producer tesa SE and the German equipment manufacturer VON ARDENNE GmbH.

Ultra-thin glass as basis technology
With a minimal thickness of 25 micrometers SCHOTT’s innovative ultra-thin glass is thinner than a single human hair. In ultra-thin thicknesses of less than 150 micrometers this glass has proven to be bendable yet stable. This leads to advantages over other substrate materials such as plastics, metals or silicon. In addition, as an inorganic material, glass offers a wide variety of benefits, whether it is in terms of optical quality, temperature stability, chemical consistency, gas density or mechanical resistance.

VISION | Flexible Glass
Following LOPEC, Fraunhofer FEP is organizing and hosting an international research and networking event, April 4-5 in Dresden, VISION | Flexible Glass, which focuses on driving forward the development of ultra-thin flexible glass. The institute has invited a number of experts to participate in the workshop and to discuss the future of this fascinating material.

An excited Dr. Manuela Junghähnel, group head for flatLab at Fraunhofer FEP, about the upcoming event: “With its reputation as a leading research and development center for the processing of flexible glass, Fraunhofer FEP is in a position to gather many of the global key players within the industry to attend VISION | Flexible Glass, including glass manufacturers, mechanical engineers and end users. With our workshop, we have committed ourselves to further developing and expanding the network with the aim of coming up with more innovative ideas for pioneering applications in this area.”

At both the workshop in Dresden and at LOPEC 2017 the development partners are preparing to demonstrate how to successfully transfer the large-scale production of ultra-thin glass substrate into applications for organic and printed electronics.

Since the fall of 2013 the partners have been working together to drive forward the development of a “convertible thin-glass functional substrate for applications in organic electronics”. The KONFEKT project is planned to run until mid-2018, but it has already produced significant results. Since the previous year, for example, the team was able to significantly enhance the glass edge strength. Despite the fact that there are still more challenges to manage and overcome in the next several months, the development partners are optimistic that through intensive research work and very close and productive collaboration, they will be able to bring glass on roll to market readiness together.

“Printed electronics is an interesting growth market where ultra-thin special glass can represent the optimal substrate for it,” notes Thomas Wiegel, application engineer for ultra-thin glass at SCHOTT, adding, “which is why we are looking forward to giving visitors at LOPEC and VISION | Flexible Glass an exclusive preview of our research results thus far. We plan to have a close-to-production prototype of glass on roll with us, which tangibly demonstrates where we are at the moment and in which direction we are planning to go forward with it.”


21 March

TU Dresden: Molecular motor-powered biocomputers

Launch of a five-year, 6.1 M€ EU-Horizon 2020 project that aims to build a new type of powerful computer based on biomolecules, TU Dresden is participating Crashing computers or smartphones and software security holes that allow hackers to steal millions of passwords could be prevented if it were possible...
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Launch of a five-year, 6.1 M€ EU-Horizon 2020 project that aims to build a new type of powerful computer based on biomolecules, TU Dresden is participating

Crashing computers or smartphones and software security holes that allow hackers to steal millions of passwords could be prevented if it were possible to design and verify error-free software. Unfortunately, to date, this is a problem that neither engineers nor supercomputers can solve. One reason is that the computing power required to verify the correct function of a many types of software scales exponentially with the size of the program, so that processing speed, energy consumption and cooling of conventional microelectronic processors prevent current computers from verifying large programs.

The recently launched research project aims to develop a biocomputer that can overcome the two main obstacles faced by today’s supercomputers: first, they use vast amounts of electric power – so much that the development of more powerful computers is hampered primarily by limitations in the ability to cool the processors. Second, they cannot do two things at the same time. The EU now funds a project that will develop a computer based on highly efficient molecular motors that will use a fraction of the energy of existing computers, and that can tackle problems where many solutions need to be explored simultaneously.

The potential impact of the project results is not limited to the design of error-free software: “Practically all really interesting mathematical problems of our time cannot be computed efficiently with our current computer technology.” says Dan V. Nicolau, Ph.D. M.D., from the UK-based enterprise Molecular Sense, who had the original idea of using biomolecular motors as computers. This is the limit that the new project aims to push by using biomolecular motors as computing units: The idea is that biomolecular machines, each only a few billionth of a meter (nanometers) in size, can solve problems by moving through a nanofabricated network of channels designed to represent a mathematical algorithm (see fig. 1); an approach the scientists in the project termed “network-based biocomputation”. Whenever the biomolecules reach a junction in the network, they either add a number to the sum they are calculating or leave it out. That way, each biomolecule acts as a tiny computer with processor and memory. While an individual biomolecule is much slower than a current computer, they are self-assembling so that they can be used in large numbers, quickly adding up their computing power. The researchers have demonstrated that this works in a recent publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the USA (PNAS). "We are using molecular motors of the cell that have been optimized by a billion years of evolution to be highly energy efficient nanomachines.", says Prof. Stefan Diez who is heading the participating TU Dresden research team, “and the biological computing units can multiply themselves to adapt to the difficulty of the mathematical problem.” adds Dr. Till Korten from TU Dresden, co-coordinator of the Bio4Comp project and equally contributing first author of the PNAS publication.

The research consortium will focus on developing the technology required to scale up network-based biocomputers to a point at which they are able to compete with other alternative computing approaches such as DNA computing and quantum computing. In the process, they aim to attract a larger scientific and economic community that will focus on developing the technology into a viable alternative computing approach. To do so, they have received 6.1 Million € from the Future & Emerging Technologies (FET) programme of the EU to run a highly interdisciplinary research project touching mathematics, biology, engineering, and computation. Of this funding, 1.1 million € will go to the research group of Stefan Diez, Professor for BioNanoTools at B CUBE, a TU Dresden research institute focusing on Molecular Bioengineering, and fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) Dresden. The role of the group will be to modify the properties of motor proteins, such as kinesin, in order to optimize them for biocomputation, as well as to integrate them into nanofabricated devices. This work will strongly benefit from synergies and collaborations with the Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfaed), one of the current Clusters of Excellence at TU Dresden. “Optimizing the motors not only gives us ideal tools for nanotechnology, but at the same time we learn a great deal about how they work and what they do inside the cell.”, Diez says. These insights will be useful beyond the specific project goals, for example to elucidate the roles of these proteins in serious diseases such as cancer and dementia.

The project Bio4Comp (2017-2021) is funded by Horizon 2020, the EU framework program for Research and Innovation under under Grant Agreement No 732482.


17 March

Block Copolymer Micellization as a Protection Strategy for DNA Origami

Scientists from the Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden / TU Dresden and the University of Tokyo led by Dr. Thorsten-Lars Schmidt (cfaed) developed a method to protect DNA origami structures from decomposition in biological media. This protection enables future applications in nanomedicine or cell biology....
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Scientists from the Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden / TU Dresden and the University of Tokyo led by Dr. Thorsten-Lars Schmidt (cfaed) developed a method to protect DNA origami structures from decomposition in biological media. This protection enables future applications in nanomedicine or cell biology.

The precise positioning of individual molecules with respect to one another is fundamentally challenging. DNA Nanotechnology enables the synthesis of nanometer-sized objects with programmable shapes out of many chemically produced DNA fragments. One of the most widely used methods in this field is called “DNA origami” which allows to fabricate nanoparticles with almost arbitrary shapes, which are around a thousand-fold smaller than the diameter of a human hair. They can be site-specifically functionalized with a large variety of materials such as individual protein molecules, antibodies, drugs molecules or inorganic nanoparticles. This allows to place them in defined geometries or distances with nanometer precision.

Due to this unique control over matter on the nanometer-scale, DNA nanostructures have also been considered for applications in molecular biology and nanomedicine. For example, they can be used as programmable drug carriers, diagnostic devices or to study the response of cells to precisely arranged molecules. However, many of these artificial DNA nanostructures need a much higher salt concentration than that in bodily fluids or cell culture buffers to maintain their structure and thus their functionality. Moreover, they can be degraded quickly by special enzymes (nucleases) that are present in bodily fluids such as saliva or blood that digest foreign DNA. This instability limits any biological or medical applications.

To overcome this deficiency, a team led by cfaed Research Group Leader Dr. Thorsten L. Schmidt (Technische Universität Dresden / Germany) coated several different DNA origami structures with a synthetic polymer. This polymer consists of two segments, a short positively charged segment which electrostatically “glues” the polymer to the negatively charged DNA nanostructure and a long uncharged polymer chain that covers the entire nanostructure resembling a fur. In their study “Block Copolymer Micellization as a Protection Strategy for DNA Origami” published in Angewandte Chemie [DOI: 10.1002/anie.201608873] they showed that such DNA nanostructures covered with the polymers were protected against nuclease digestion and low salt conditions. Furthermore they showed that structures functionalized with nanoparticles can be protected by the same mechanism.

This straightforward, cost-effective and robust route to protect DNA-based structures could therefore enable applications in biology and nanomedicine, where un-protected DNA origami would be degraded.


10 March

FOSA LabX 330 Glass – Coating Flexible Glass in a Roll-to-Roll Process

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP and VON ARDENNE will intensify their cooperation in the field of the coating of flexible glass. Due to its properties, this new material is ideally suited as a substrate for various applications in flexible electronics....
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The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP and VON ARDENNE will intensify their cooperation in the field of the coating of flexible glass. Due to its properties, this new material is ideally suited as a substrate for various applications in flexible electronics. Since October 2016, the two partners have been operating the roll-to-roll coating system FOSA LabX 330 Glass together.

This new, innovative machine was especially developed for processing flexible glass by the equipment manufacturer VON ARDENNE, which is based in Dresden, Germany. It is the first of its kind worldwide. As all the components of the system are working very precisely, the sensitive glass can be wound, heated and coated. As the material is thinner than one-tenth of a millimeter, enormous technological expertise is required to guarantee the reliability of the process.

Within the KONFEKT project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (funding reference number 13N12975), the two partners seek to open up new fields of application and to demonstrate the efficiency of the system. SCHOTT AG and TESA SE, who are also involved in this project, provide, optimize and ensure the further processing of the substrate material.

The LOPEC 2017 will take place on 29 and 30 March 2017 in Munich. There, at booth 318 in hall B0, Fraunhofer FEP will present coating samples of the FOSA LabX 330 Glass for the first time. VON ARDENNE will introduce the machine at booth B0/210.

“We have achieved excellent results on this system already during the first tests with transparent electrodes”, enthused Dr. Matthias Fahland, deputy manager of the business area Flat and Flexible Products at the Fraunhofer FEP. “The system offers our customers a high potential for the development of innovative layer systems on flexible substrates”, he continued.

The exceptionally high quality of the coatings reached with the FOSA LabX 330 Glass is the basis for high-quality electrodes for organic light emitting diodes (OLED). These electrodes power organic light emitting diodes (OLED) with a size of up to 30 cm x 30 cm in a steady manner. This is only one example for the numerous possible applications for the machine – be it for coatings or for layer developments in optoelectronics.

“Because of its outstanding properties, flexible glass will play a vital role as material of the future”, said Dr. Andreas Nilsson, Vice President Web Coating at VON ARDENNE. “We are looking forward to the new possibilities that this material offers. In the joint project with our long-term partner Fraunhofer FEP, we are transferring the necessary roll-to-roll vacuum coating process of flexible glass from a laboratory to an industrial scale. From this, we expect important cost benefits for everyone involved in the value chain.” Dr. Nilsson explained.

At present, the scientists of both companies are working on the manufacturing of the first demonstrators. At the same time, they have already been working on further layer systems. The focus is mainly on optical layers, such as anti-reflection layers or optical filters.

Fraunhofer FEP and VON ARDENNE will be pleased to share their technical and technological expertise in thin-film vacuum processing with potential partners in order to join forces to develop applications for the FOSA LabX 330 Glass, to coat further samples and evaluate the material.

On 4 and 5 April 2017, the new web coating system FOSA LabX 330 Glass will be presented to the general public during a workshop at the Fraunhofer FEP titled VISION|Flexible Glass.On 4 and 5 April 2017, the new web coating system FOSA LabX 330 Glass will be presented to the general public during a workshop at the Fraunhofer FEP titled VISION|Flexible Glass.


09 March

Dresden: Largest lipidomics study provides a basis for personalized cosmetics

The largest lipidomics study to date analyzing skin lipids in more than 250 skin samples has been published in “Scientific Reports” (Sadowski T. et al. 2017, doi: 10.1038/srep43761). The study applied a novel Skin Lipidomics Technology Platform developed by Lipotype GmbH, a German Max-Planck-Institute spin-off....
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The largest lipidomics study to date analyzing skin lipids in more than 250 skin samples has been published in “Scientific Reports” (Sadowski T. et al. 2017, doi: 10.1038/srep43761). The study applied a novel Skin Lipidomics Technology Platform developed by Lipotype GmbH, a German Max-Planck-Institute spin-off. Results showed that the skin lipidome varies with respect to depth, site, age and subject. This variation seems to be driven, mainly by secretion of sebaceous lipids and this finding could have an intriguing impact on the design of cosmetic products. Results also reveal a high inter-individual variation of the lipid profile of each person, which could become the basis for the development of personalized cosmetics.

High-throughput skin lipidomics with ultra-broad fully quantitative coverage
Until recently, investigating skin lipidomes was not a trivial task. On one hand, the analytical method needs to have coverage broad enough to encompass the variety of skin lipids, and a throughput allowing for statistically relevant studies. On the other hand the method should be compatible with a convenient sampling technique such as tape stripping. These prerequisites are met in the Lipotype Shotgun Skin Lipidomics Technology platform. As Prof. Kai Simons, CEO of Lipotype, explains: “We developed and validated a quantitative high-throughput shotgun mass spectrometry-based platform for lipid analysis of tape-stripped skin samples. It features coverage of 16 lipid classes; total quantification to the level of individual lipid molecules; excellent reproducibility and high-throughput capabilities.” The development of the Lipotype Shotgun Skin Lipidomics Technology was supported by the German Central Innovation Programme for SMEs.

Results of the largest lipidomic study
We conducted a large lipidomic study of 268 human stratum corneum samples, where we investigated the relationship between sampling depth and lipid composition, lipidome variability in samples from 14 different sampling sites on the human body and finally, we assessed the impact of age and sex on lipidome variability in 104 healthy subjects. We found sebaceous lipids to constitute an abundant component of the stratum corneum lipidome as they diffuse into the topmost stratum corneum layers forming a gradient. Lipidomic variability with respect to sampling depth, site and subject is considerable, and mainly accredited to sebaceous lipids, while stratum corneum lipids vary less.

Applications of skin lipidomics
With tools such as Lipotype Skin Lipidomics it is now easy to investigate the healthy skin lipidome, how it changes in diseases or upon intervention with a drug or a cosmetic product. This lipidomic data can be also used to assess the action of substances influencing skin lipid metabolism or the skin microbiome-lipidome relation as well as the impact of cosmetic substances on the skin lipidome for cosmetic claim support. “We also see a great potential for the current trend of personalized cosmetics by differentiating consumer groups based on skin lipid composition for development of personalized cosmetics”, says Dr. Oliver Uecke, Head of Business Development and Finance at Lipotype GmbH. 

About Lipotype
Lipotype is a spin-off company from the Kai Simons and Andrej Shevchenko labs of the world-renowned Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany. Drawing on many years of cutting edge research, Lipotype delivers comprehensive, absolutely quantitative lipid analysis services for clinical and biological samples on a high-throughput scale. Lipotype offers high quality lipid analysis services for a wide range of customers and applications including biomarker identification for clinical researchers, pharma and biotech companies, functional food development for the food industry, claim support for the cosmetics industry, as well as for the small-scale profiling needs of academic researchers.


03 March

flex+ Luminous OLED Jewel Beetles, registered use of medication, Open Innovation Platforms

The flex+ Project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), has successfully come to the end of its planned two-year duration and will leave its mark on the future as well: flexible electronics as a comprehensive approach. Fraunhofer FEP is one of the leading research and...
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The flex+ Project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), has successfully come to the end of its planned two-year duration and will leave its mark on the future as well: flexible electronics as a comprehensive approach.

Fraunhofer FEP is one of the leading research and development partners in the field of flexible organic electronics and together with its several partners in the BMBF-funded flex+ Project has pioneered new paths in the design and development of flexible organic electronics, as well as charting the way for new applications and markets.

Functionality-first, flexible components
Flexible electronics are light-weight, pliable, transparent, scalable and sustainable. Thanks to their diverse properties, they offer characteristics and advantages for completely new and innovative ideas and applications that will be supported and implemented from conception to completed components by a Technology Platform developed during the project.

Flexible electronics can produce a device with all the characteristics needed: flexible as plastic film or a piece of cloth, with no discrete components or ICs, light-weight, thin, energy-efficient, sustainable, manufactured as a single piece, and with no interfaces or mechanically vulnerable connector technology. Input, processing, output, sensors & actuators, power supply, and networking – all are integrated in this module that works everywhere and everywhen. A device like this could even be a personal computer in the form of a film atop the working surface in the laboratory or kitchen just for wiping it down. It could be a health-monitoring system in a T-shirt, a media player in a fashionable scarf or shawl, carpeting that functions as a Smart Home control including illumination, or the complete dashboard of a motor vehicle constructed as a light-weight module whose shape and curvature can be adapted to the imagination of the designer and the designated space.

The flex+ Technology Platform should help flexible organic electronics break into the market. The goal of the flex+ Project was to develop a comprehensive approach for successful development and manufacturing of flexible electronics. This was achieved through an organizational structure that was “Open Innovation” in character.

A portal resulted that makes available an Open Tech Base comprising a wiki about flex+, and an Open Tech Lab for shared utilization of existing infrastructure and technologies, bringing together idea generators, companies, technology suppliers, and other players for projects such as tech transfer, and jointly working on problems and projects in the area of flexible organic electronics.

Diverse advantages have resulted from the Open Innovation approach, such as the shared development of keystone technologies, rationalization of R&D costs, targeted development of flexible electronics, and access to technology suppliers and infrastructure.

Flex-MED – a competition for ideas with foresight
To develop targeted solutions in the fields of medicine and health care, a competition for ideas named “flex-MED” was initiated under the flex+ project. Creative and clever competitors – innovative thinkers, experts and laypeople alike, individuals and companies were all able to submit their ideas and sketches by July 2016 as answers to the question: “Healthier thanks to flexible electronics – how can this technology revolutionize health care?” The response was overwhelming. A total of over 70 ideas were received on the topic, which meanwhile have been made available in the form of an idea book. The best three suggestions were debuted by Fraunhofer FEP during the 4th Industry Partners Days in September. And not just the three winners of the competition were pleased, because specific projects will continue to be developed from all of the ideas submitted.

To this end, scenario workshops were conducted by the flex+ consortium in Dresden and Munich in order to jointly develop futuristic scenarios that were as concrete as possible and involved idea generators, interested parties, and companies from the field of medical engineering.

Project manager Christian Kirchhof viewed this enthusiastically: “We laid the foundation for open and energetic cooperation through the workshops.”
In the end, six specific project and product ideas were worked on in project teams and continuously refined. As a final step, the project scope and specific terms of reference needed for realizing the ideas were defined.

Musca noctis and Papilio lunae – Insects light the way
Besides the focus on specific ideas for utilization of flexible electronics in medicine and health care, an additional approach was taken in the flex+ Project. The open question posed was how the possibilities offered by flexible electronics could be vividly and realistically brought more closely to the public eye without an object emphasizing a single direction, application, or application niche.

Fraunhofer FEP, together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP, Organic Electronics Saxony OES, and Mareike Gast & Kathi Stertzig Industrial Design jointly realized an impressive series of demonstration objects in the “Insect Project” that incorporated these criteria. The members of the artificial species merge the unique aesthetics of insects with the technological potential of flexible electronics to create fascinating demonstration pieces. This allowed the diverse possibilities to be directly experienced. Musca noctis and Papilio lunae represent the beginning of interdisciplinary research into insects, the goal of which is to discover and delineate the opportunities offered by flexible electronics and to communicate its diverse range.

The initial specimens of these insects were debuted in Munich at the LOPEC trade fair in March 2016. The world of flexible organic electronics was fundamentally analyzed during the two-year flex+ Project and a broad network of innovators, entrepreneurs, companies, technologists, and additional partners were brought together. The initial promising sketches, demonstration pieces, and Open Innovation Platforms emerged. The flex+ Platform continues to be available for the ongoing activities, preservation, and expansion of the network, and is being supported by the Project’s partners.


02 March

atmoFlex – Fraunhofer FEP Dresden enhances its facilities for coating plastic films

A leader in thin-film technology R&D, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP in Dresden, Germany, has significantly enhanced its capabilities. Scientists will be explaining and illustrating the new opportunities using a model of the new coating machine atmoFlex...
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A leader in thin-film technology R&D, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP in Dresden, Germany, has significantly enhanced its capabilities. Scientists will be explaining and illustrating the new opportunities using a model of the new coating machine atmoFlex at their trade fair booth during ICE 2017 in Munich/Germany (Hall A5, booth 1157), from March 21 – 23.

Fraunhofer FEP has been pushing the technology development for thin-film coatings on plastic film for years. The basis for these advances has been its roll-to-roll process lines that facilitate the development of coating systems, from lab-scale to prototype samples, up through initial pilot manufacturing for industrial applications. After commissioning and testing during the past year, the new atmoFlex system has come on-line to broaden Fraunhofer FEP’s capabilities by offering processing at standard atmospheric pressure. In addition to its electron beam system, the process line also provides contactless slot die coating. All of the guide rollers within the conveyance machinery are larger than in comparable plants to minimize the mechanical loading on substrate materials. In addition, a wide range of film laminating techniques is available for research and fabrication of custom film composites.

The initial results are promising. For example, combinations of layers were created that were fabricated using PVD (physical vapor deposition) and lacquering processes. The recently launched OptiPerm project, funded by the Saxony State Ministry for Economy, Employment, and Transportation (SMWA / Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Verkehr, promotional reference 3000651169), will be investigating the interrelationships of individual technologies. This project will specifically research the fabrication of improved systems of barrier coatings for functional films with PVD layers in combination with varnishes and cured by electron beams. Besides permeation barrier performance, the research is particularly focusing on optical properties.

“atmoFlex considerably broadens the spectrum of our services. It will enable fragile and extremely thin vacuum-deposited layers to be protected by coatings applied directly at normal atmospheric pressure, for example. These types of combined layers are even reliable enough for outdoor use,” explains Dr. Steffen Günther, group manager responsible for the research at Fraunhofer FEP. “We look forward to discussing this at ICE 2017 with potential users.”

Films used for a wide range of applications can be coated with the new process line, from decorative film for furniture to permeation barriers for food packaging and organic electronics. Specialized modifications to the conveyor design permit the utilization of both smooth and textured films so that either high-gloss surfaces or decorative finishes can be produced for furnishings, for example.

High temperatures normally necessary for drying coatings can impair very thin substrate films. An alternative drying and curing process is therefore employed in atmoFlex. This new process uses electron beams for curing coatings as well as for surface treatment. The electron beams are even able to penetrate a protective film applied over top and cure the layers beneath. Processing under clean-room conditions to keep layers free of particulates is therefore not necessary.

But the new process line is capable of treating not only plastic films. It is also available for coating other flexible substrates such as metal foil, thin glass, and textiles.
Substrates widths up to 1,250 mm can be processed at speeds of up to 150 m/min. The modular character of the process line also offers sufficient adaptability for integrating future technological advancements and researching new processes. The new plant has recently been fitted with a web cleaning system. Contaminants already present on substrate films can be effectively removed this way.


Excellence is the city‘s motto

Dresden’s success is based on key technologies including microelectronics, information-and-communications, new materials, photovoltaic and nanotechnology, and, life sciences and biotechnology. The interdisciplinary collaboration between businesses and research facilities helps move Dresden forward.