International top level in and out of Cologne

For the University of Cologne, the COPT.ZENTRUM is a central element of their technology transfer strategy from science to practice. Small and middle-sized companies will benefit from the premises of the center, the technology, and the newest scientific findings in the field of organic electronics. Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum supplies the necessary vacuum technology.

After two years of construction, the building, which was financed with funds of the European Community and the country North-Rhine Westphalia, was opened on October 19th with almost 600 selected guests with a scientific or economic background. Minister of Science Svenja Schulze, Minister of Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin and Assistant Secretary Michael Theben from the Environment Ministry where present at the inauguration of the new building for the „Center for Organic Production Technologies“ (COPT.Zentrum) at the University of Cologne. Rector Professor Dr. Axel Freimuth and Professor Dr. Klaus Meerholz spoke at the opening ceremony of basic research on an internationally top-level, which will be achieved by cutting-edge technology, and the bundling of competences of companies with the field of organic electronics.

In the laboratories of the COPT.Zentrum, the focus is on visions for the future: organic electronics researches on chemical and physical processes generating ultra-thin molecular coatings that are only visible with the aid of electron microscopes. Organic electronics – or polymer electronics – enable completely new products where the realization of production was not possible before: flexible displays, solar cells and modules on foils, diagnostic medical equipment in clothes or even adhesives for skin applications. OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) are already omni-present in lamps or in displays of smartphones. The first televisions with OLED are already placed in the market and unbreakable displays made of plastics will follow soon. In the coming years, organic electronics will complement silicon based electronics with many new applications.

Most of these process steps are only possible under vacuum conditions. Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum provides special experimental research chamber systems, in which diverse coatings can be applied to various substrates. The UNIVEX 350 G coating systems, equipped with absolutely dry running pumps such as SCROLLVAC and TURBOVAC MAGiNTEGRA, protect the sensitive OLED materials from oxygen. For that purpose, three UNIVEX 350 G vacuum systems were combined with glovebox units, which are operated under the protection of a pure nitrogen atmosphere.

„This is cutting-edge technology that has been tailor-made by a Cologne pioneer of vacuum technology for the COPT.Zentrum of the University of Cologne. We are delighted that once again we can make valuable contributions to technological innovations here and at the same time promote the transfer of technology between research and economy”, emphasizes Dr. Martin Füllenbach, CEO Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum.