Press releases - archive 2019-2015

QD color filters for microLEDs#

Press release 2019-09-06

Dr. Youngsam Kim, President of KETI and Prof. Alexander Böker, Head of the Fraunhofer IAP seal the continuation of their cooperation. The topic is the development of QD color filters for micro LEDs in displays.
© Fraunhofer IAP
Dr. Youngsam Kim, President of KETI and Prof. Alexander Böker, Head of the Fraunhofer IAP seal the continuation of their cooperation. The topic is the development of QD color filters for micro LEDs in displays.                    

New research project between Fraunhofer IAP and Korean Electronics Technology Institute (KETI)

Quantum dot-based color filters for micro-LEDs are one of the most promising future technologies for displays. This technology makes displays even more brilliant, more efficient and even thinner, compared to displays with conventional color filters. The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP and KETI have started working together on the development of printed QD color filters microLEDs in the new research project "CoCoMe".

Quantum dots are nanocrystals with optical, magnetic or electronic properties. These nanocrystals have a diameter of about 1-10 nm. The small diameter causes so-called quantum effects to occur in the crystals. There is a whole class of materials, mostly semiconductor materials, that can be used to make quantum dots (QDs). By adjusting the size of a QD, its properties can be adjusted specifically for the desired application. As a result, the applications may vary widely.

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7th Dresden Nanoanalysis Symposium#

Press release 2019-08-30

Opening remarks – Ehrenfried Zschech at the 7th Dresden Nanoanalysis Symposium, Dresden
© Dresden Fraunhofer Cluster Nanoanalysis
Opening remarks – Ehrenfried Zschech at the 7th Dresden Nanoanalysis Symposium, Dresden

7th Dresden Nanoanalysis Symposium, Dresden, August 30, 2019

The Dresden Nanoanalysis Symposium, organized by the Dresden Fraunhofer Cluster Nanoanalysis (DFCNA), was held at Fraunhofer IKTS Dresden (Germany), Maria-Reiche-Strasse 2, on August 30, 2019. In that year, the symposium stood under the particular motto: "Nano-scale characterization for cutting-edge materials research and sustainable materials development".

The symposium provided highlights in the field of nanoanalysis, represented by 3 keynote talks, 9 invited talks of world class speakers and a poster session. You will find the program on the conference web page: https://www.nanoanalytik.fraunhofer.de/en/events/7DNS.html.

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Project BioSensing – detecting pathogens using quantum technology#

Press release 2019-04-29

DNA-stabilized metal quantum clusters belong to a novel class of biological nanomaterials and, in the future, could be used as highly sensitive, cost-effective biosensors. With their fluorescence properties researchers could detect diseases quickly and reliably.
© Fraunhofer ISC
DNA-stabilized metal quantum clusters belong to a novel class of biological nanomaterials and, in the future, could be used as highly sensitive, cost-effective biosensors.                                                                        

Project BioSensing – detecting pathogens using quantum technology

Safe diagnoses of diseases, identification of multidrug-resistant germs, detection of beginning epidemics at an early stage or detection of toxins and pathogens in drinking water and food in even the lowest concentrations – these are major challenges and goals of current research programs. One of the most promising tools for these tasks are novel and considerably improved biosensors. The project "BioSensing" of the Fraunhofer Institutes for Silicate Research ISC and for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Leiden University, Institute of Physics aims to overcome the limits of modern biosensors with the help of quantum technology.

Medical diagnoses could be even more reliable and efficient with the use of biosensors, but researchers face great challenges. The sensors should be sufficiently sensitive to detect even the smallest amounts of pathogens in the blood or other biological fluids. At the same time, they should be able to identify even difficult-to-diagnose diseases in real time so that effective therapy procedures can start at an early stage.

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New technology for warm white LEDs#

Press release 2019-02-26

At the Fraunhofer CAN in Hamburg (Germany), researchers develop phosphors for more efficient, warmer white-light LEDs.
© Fraunhofer IAP, photographer: Till Budde
At the Fraunhofer CAN in Hamburg (Germany), researchers develop phosphors for more efficient, warmer white-light LEDs.                                    

New technology for warm white LEDs

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) provide significant energy savings over conventional light sources. In terms of light quality, however, conventional lighting solutions are still superior to LEDs as the latter are unable to reproduce the entire color spectrum. Most importantly, LEDs lack an efficient red phosphor to produce warmer white light. Four partners have teamed up as part of the EuroLED project to develop a nanoscale phosphor system for white LEDs based on a fundamentally new concept. By generating an energy-efficient warm white light, they hope to increase the public’s acceptance of energy-saving LEDs.

Like sunlight, the color temperature of light sources influences our well-being. The more red components there are in the perceived spectrum, the warmer and more pleasant it feels to us. A breakthrough occurred 14 years ago when LEDs were finally able to create a physiologically more pleasant working atmosphere, i.e. warm white light. The basis was the red phosphor CASN developed in Japan. Even today, white light LEDs are coated with an additional red phosphor to obtain a warm white light. However, CASN is extremely inefficient because it largely emits near infrared radiation, which is not visible to the human eye. EuroLED project partners are currently developing a suitable alternative.

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Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity#

Press release Fraunhofer IWS 2019-01-11

Oleic acid (colored) forms chemical bonds with both ta-C surfaces (black). Movement causes the oleic acid to pull, a hydroxyl group splits off and superlubricity is formed.
© Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoffmechanik IWM
Oleic acid (colored) forms chemical bonds with both ta-C surfaces (black). Movement causes the oleic acid to pull, a hydroxyl group splits off and superlubricity is formed.                        

Tribology: Design Rules for Extremely Low Coefficients of Friction

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated to this important project for years. Superlubricity could achieve not only minor, but also extreme friction reductions. If, for example, friction in the engines and transmissions of vehicles is reduced to minimum values, such as those occurring with superlubricity, annual global CO2 emissions could be reduced by several hundred million tons. Two Fraunhofer Institutes have taken an important step toward this vision. In the PEGASUS II project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden have uncovered the atomic mechanism underlying superlubricity in a special friction partner system. They investigated promising tribological systems in which the friction partners’ surfaces consist of special diamond-like carbon layers produced with a coating technology developed at the Fraunhofer IWS. These so-called tetrahedral amorphous carbon layers (ta-C) were combined with organic lubricants. Using simulations, the research team found out that the lubricant decomposes tribochemically to form graphene-like surfaces: the prerequisite for superlubricity.

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Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things#

Press release Fraunhofer IWS 2018-10-10

The engineers coated a glass plate with a particularly smooth and conductive polymer layer of “Poly(Kx[Ni-itto])” by rotation coating (“spin coating"). Next to it is a sample bottle of the polymer solution.
© Fraunhofer IWS Dresden
The engineers coated a glass plate with a particularly smooth and conductive polymer layer of "Poly(Kx[Ni-itto])" by rotation coating ("spin coating"). Next to it is a sample bottle of the polymer solution.                                

Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed on pipes or other surfaces in order to convert waste heat into electricity. The experts at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden use ink based on conductive polymers for this purpose.

The IWS engineers have developed a new process for this project: Small molecules are synthesized into polymers which are able to transport negative charge carriers (electrons). The "trick" is that this polymer, unlike comparable polymers, is in a liquid state. This polymer enables the scientists to print or spray very thin and smooth organic functional coatings on surfaces. "We want to construct thermoelectric generators that, for example, supply energy to sensors in places that are difficult to access, where battery replacement is not useful, not possible or very expensive," reports Lukas Stepien, who, together with Dr. Roman Tkachov, manages this development project at Fraunhofer IWS Dresden. Warm pipes that do not get hotter than 100 degrees Celsius - this is the upper limit for the polymers investigated so far. "Additionally, this technology might also benefit the 'Internet of Things': sensors and other electronic components using thermoelectric generators could cover their own electrical energy requirements. An external power supply will be no longer necessary," adds Lukas Stepien.

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Prof. Horst Weller receives the ECIS Solvay Prize 2018#

Press release 2018-09-04

Prof. Dr. Horst Weller
© Foto Fraunhofer IAP
Prof. Dr. Horst Weller                                    

Prof. Horst Weller receives the ECIS Solvay Prize 2018

At this year's European Colloid and Interface Society (ECIS) conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, September 2-7, Professor Horst Weller was presented with the ECIS Solvay Prize 2018. Since 2001, the prize has been awarded to European scientists who have been leading the way in the research field of colloids and interfaces for many years.

In science, Weller has become famous for his outstanding work in the field of the production of colloidal nanocrystals, their characterization and self-assembly. In addition, the award ceremony particularly highlighted his work on surface modification and the use of nanoparticles for medical applications and in hybrid materials.

A highlight was the development of nanoparticles for diagnosis and therapy in medicine, for example, to combat autoimmune diseases, a collaboration with the University Hospital Eppendorf in Hamburg. Another breakthrough was achieved by Weller in cooperation with the Technical University of Hamburg as part of a Collaborative Research Center. Here, he succeeded in developing a hybrid material based on nanoparticles, which is clearly superior to all previously published systems in terms of resilience under high and uniformly acting mechanical loads.

"The prize is a great incentive to successfully continue this research", Weller says. Professor Weller heads the Center for Applied Nanotechnology CAN, a research area at the Fraunhofer IAP and also has a chair at the Institute of Physical Chemistry at the University of Hamburg.

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Center for Applied Nanotechnology CAN#

Press release 2018-01-03

Semi-conductive particles (quantum dots) under UV light stimulation: their fluorescence changes as they increase in size (from left to right).
© Fraunhofer CAN, photographer: Edgar Wacker.
Semi-conductive particles (quantum dots) under UV light stimulation: their fluorescence changes as they increase in size (from left to right).

The Center for Applied Nanotechnology CAN to become new research division at the Fraunhofer IAP

The Center for Applied Nanotechnology (CAN) GmbH was integrated into the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (Potsdam-Golm) on January 1, 2018. Under the leadership of Professor Horst Weller, a renowned chemist, the 23 employees will continue their research activities at CAN’s location in Hamburg. Focus is on the manufacturing and characterization of a range of materials in the form of nanoparticles and nanocomposites.

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Cleaning waste water effectively#

Press release 2017-05-30

Ceramic membranes by the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS
© Fraunhofer IKTS
Ceramic membranes by the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS

Cleaning waste water effectively

Water is vital – therefore, waste water has to be cleaned as efficiently as possible. Ceramic membranes make this possible. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Hermsdorf, Germany were able to significantly reduce the separation limits of these membranes and to reliably filter off dissolved organic molecules with a molar mass of only 200 Dalton. Even industrial sewage water can thus be cleaned efficiently.

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Nanoparticle à la carte – open access infrastructure for a pilot line of nano particle and nano-composites#

Press release 2016-05-09

Molecular vaporizer for laboratory and pilot plant scale to separate and recover high boiling solvents in high vacuum atmosphere.
© K. Dobberke for Fraunhofer ISC
Molecular vaporizer for laboratory and pilot plant scale to separate and recover high boiling solvents in high vacuum atmosphere.                                                

Nanoparticle à la carte – open access infrastructure for a pilot line of nano particle and nano-composites

"What opportunities does the nanotechnology provide in general, provide nanoparticles for my products and processes?" So far, this question cannot be answered easily. Preparation and modification of nanoparticles and the further processing require special technical infrastructure and complex knowledge. For small and medium businesses the construction of this infrastructure “just on luck” is often not worth it. Even large companies shy away from the risks. As a result many good ideas just stay in the drawer.

A simple and open access to high-class infrastructure for the reliable production of small batches of functionalized nanoparticles and nanocomposites for testing could ease the way towards new nano-based products for chemical and pharmaceutical companies. The European Union has allocated funds for the construction of a number of pilot lines and open-access infrastructure within the framework of the EU project CoPilot. A consortium of 13 partners from research and industry, including nanotechnology specialist TNO from the Netherlands and the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC from Wuerzburg, Germany as well as seven nanomaterial manufacturers, is currently setting up the pilot line in Wuerzburg. First, they establish the particle production, modification and compounding on pilot scale based on four different model systems. The approach enables maximum variability and flexibility for the pilot production of various particle systems and composites. Two further open access lines will be established at TNO in Eindhoven and at the Sueddeutsche Kunststoffzentrum SKZ in Selb.

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Brilliant colors#

Press Release 2015-10-01

Quantum dots make it possible to display any color in full brilliance.
© Fraunhofer IAP
Quantum dots make it possible to display any color in full brilliance.

Brilliant colors from environmentally friendly crystals

Quantum dots have made it possible to substantially increase color quality in LCD displays. However, these cadmium-based nanocrystals have proven to be harmful to the environment. Fraunhofer researchers are working together with an industry partner to develop a promising alternative: quantum dots based on indium phosphide.

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