German Museum Introduces OLEDs and Novaled Founders to the Public
There has been a permanent exhibition on the Deutscher Zukunftspreis at the Deutsches Museum since 2006. Since then over 1 million visitors have viewed the 10 most-recent award-winning projects and the “Hall of Fame” of the prizewinners. The newest exhibit for the prizewinning team from 2011 was unveiled at the museum in September: Organic Electronics – More Light and Energy from Wafer-thin Molecular Layers. The display honors Karl Leo, Jan Blochwitz-Nimoth and Martin Pfeiffer, founders of Novaled AG.
Last December, the Federal President awarded the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2011 to Leo’s team. The prizewinners have made a major contribution to the use of organic electronics by developing new materials. These consist of electrodes, a substrate and various organic materials that are vapor deposited in layers onto a substrate. Through the addition of innovative dopants, the team significantly improved the conductivity of organic semiconductors. This increases the useful life and efficiency of OLEDs and solar cells so that they can be used efficiently as a light source and to produce electricity and in commercial applications.
Since the organic materials can also be applied to flexible substrates, the range of possible new applications is great. Innovative light sources are conceivable that emit over a large area, especially soft and high-quality light. Innovative solar cells can be rolled up and are exceptionally affordable, recouping their cost after a very short time. Other possible applications are in integrated electronic circuits for use in clothing, labels, or bandages: numerous applications that improve quality of life and safety.
The new exhibit of the 2011 prizewinners introduces these areas of application in the form of hands-on presentations. In further explanations, the important aspects of the technology such as the synthesis of organic semiconductor materials, the optimization of layer structures as well as the “roll-to-roll” manufacturing process of organic solar cells is presented. In video sequences, the prizewinners answer questions about their work.
An interactive object creates a playful introduction to the project’s subject matter. A transparent OLED panel – currently one of the largest worldwide – shows in an abstract way the possible applications of organic semiconductor electronics. Visitors can activate the panel’s six segments individually, discover how OLED transparency changes when dimmed, and create their own illuminated object by arranging and switching on the segments.