Press releases

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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Nanocoating prevents greasy smears

Press release 2019-07-01

The new sol/gel nanocoating is designed to prevent fingerprints on stainless steel and metal surfaces.
© Fraunhofer IMWS

The new sol/gel nanocoating is designed to prevent fingerprints on stainless steel and metal surfaces.                                                                        

Say goodbye to greasy smears

Not only are greasy fingerprints on shiny stainless steel surfaces unattractive, they also attack the surface in question. A new nanocoating being developed by Fraunhofer researchers will in the future prevent the annoying smudges that result from fingers touching stainless steel surfaces. The key to their approach: special nanoparticles added to the coating.

The shiny new refrigerator features an attractive stainless steel front. But it doesn’t take long before the door is covered in dark fingerprints that are difficult to remove with only a cloth and detergent; the job actually calls for some arduous polishing. Fingerprints like these are more than just unsightly, the grease film also attacks the metal surface.

Together with their colleagues at FEW Chemicals GmbH in Wolfen, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS in Halle are now working to put an end to smears like these. The secret lies in a coating layer containing special additives and which is water and oil repellent. This layer's effects are twofold: When the particles integrated in the coating settle on the surface of the stainless steel, the surface becomes rougher and its surface area increases. When a finger comes into contact with the refrigerator door, it only touches the raised points on the surface and the grease on the fingertip never reaches the “valleys” of the stainless steel surface. This means the surface area which actually comes into contact with the grease is kept very small. In addition the refractive index of the coating has been adjusted so that it matches that of the skin’s natural oil content. This means light is reflected by the coated stainless steel surface in about the same manner as by a surface that has been touched by sticky fingers. As a result, the fingerprints are hardly noticeable.

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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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Nano-supercapacitors

Press Release 2014-07-01

Development of nano-material based supercapacitors
© Fraunhofer IPA

Development of nano-material based supercapacitors

Nano-supercapacitors for electric cars

Innovative nano-material based supercapacitors are set to bring mass market appeal a good step closer to the lukewarm public interest in Germany. This movement is currently being motivated by the advancements in the state-of-the-art of this device. Electric cars are very much welcomed in Norway and they are a common sight on the roads of the Scandinavian country, in contrast to the situation in Germany.

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Touch me

Press Release 2011-01-27

Touchscreens Made of Carbon
© Fraunhofer

Touchscreens Made of Carbon

Touchscreens Made of Carbon

Touchscreens are in – although the technology still has its price. The little screens contain rare and expensive elements. This is the reason why researchers at Fraunhofer are coming up with an alternative display made of low-priced renewable raw materials available all over the world. The researchers are presenting touchscreens that contain carbon nanotubes at the nano tech 2011 fair in Tokyo from February 16-18.

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Nanoworld in color

Press Release 2011-01-20

Nanoworld in color
© Fraunhofer

Nanoworld in color

Nanoworld in color

Microscopically small nanostructured arrays of lenses that can record or project amazingly sharp images in brilliant colors are being demonstrated by Fraunhofer research scientists at the nano tech 2011 trade show in Tokyo from February 16 to 18.

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Fast sepsis test can save lives

Research News December 2010

Fast sepsis test can save lives
© Fraunhofer

Fast sepsis test can save lives

Fast sepsis test can save lives

Blood poisoning can be fatal. If you suffer from sepsis, you used to have to wait as much as 48 hours for laboratory findings. A new diagnostic platform as big as a credit card will now supply the analysis after as little as an hour. This system is based on nanoparticles that are automatically guided by magnetic forces.

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Plastics and nanoparticles

Research News October 2010

Plastics and nanoparticles - the perfect combination
© Fraunhofer

Plastics and nanoparticles - the perfect combination

Plastics and nanoparticles - the perfect combination

These days, plastic components are vital to many fields of industry – lightweight construction, automobile manufacturing and electrical engineering, to name but a few. Now researchers have found ingenious ways to combine plastics with nanoparticles and endow them with new properties. Thanks to these innovative materials, aircraft could in future be better protected against lightning strikes.

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Paving slabs that clean the air

Research News August 2010

Paving slabs that clean the air
© Fraunhofer

Paving slabs that clean the air

Paving slabs that clean the air

The concentrations of toxic nitrogen oxide that are present in German cities regularly exceed the maximum permitted levels. That’s now about to change, as innovative paving slabs that will help protect the environment are being introduced. Coated in titanium dioxide nanoparticles, they reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide in the air.

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Big potential

Research Topics 2010

Nanotechnology - midgets with big potential
© Frfaunhofer

Nanotechnology - midgets with big potential

Nanotechnology - midgets with big potential

Nanotechnology is a cross-section technology concerned with research and construction in very small structures. A nanometer corresponds to a millionth of a millimeter. It is a discipline which offers more potential for innovative applications than any other, as special physical laws apply on the nano-level. The optical, electrical or chemical properties of established materials can be altered completely by manipulation of the nanostructure.

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Free wings

Press Release 2011-02-25

Ice-free wings by nanostructuring
© Fraunhofer IGB

Ice-free wings by nanostructuring

Ice-free wings by nanostructuring

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart have developed nano-structured surfaces on which water is repelled and almost no ice is formed in freezing temperatures.

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Printable sensors

Research News March 2010

Printable sensors
© Fraunhofer ISC

Printable sensors

Printable sensors

In future every home will have one: electronic devices that you can control just by pointing a finger. To turn this vision into reality the 3Plast research consortium is developing special sensors that can be printed onto plastic film and affixed to objects.

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Pin sharp

Press Release February 2010

Nano for the senses
© Fraunhofer ISC

Nano for the senses

Nano for the senses

Pin-sharp projections, light that’s whiter than white, varnishes that make sounds if the temperature changes: at nano tech 2010 in Tokyo, Fraunhofer researchers present nanotechnology that is a veritable feast for the senses.

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Nano materials put to test

Press release of Information Service Science from 2010-09-09

Thick carbon nanotubes in electron microscope
© Photo: Leonhardt, Leibniz Institute Dresden

Thick carbon nanotubes in electron microscope

Nano materials put to test

Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are among the new nanomaterials with a wide application potential. Their exceptional properties - extreme tensile strength, high electrical conductivity and low weight - make these tiny graphite tubes interesting for a wide range of products. However, some studies suggest that certain nanotubes with specific properties may be similar to carcinogens as asbestos fibers. To exclude potential risks to humans, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is now funding the research network CarboTox for three years with around 1.25 million euros.

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