Prof. Karl Leo, Dr. Jan Blochwitz-Nimoth and Dr. Martin Pfeiffer are the winners of the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2011. The President awards his “Prize for Technology and Innovation” to people who demonstrate creativity, knowledge and ability in their search for convincing solutions for marketable products.
The German Federal President Christian Wulff conferred the highly coveted award this evening in Berlin to the team for their project “Organic Electronics – More Light and Energy from Wafer-thin Molecular Layers”. The award includes € 250,000 in prize money. With their innovation the team came out on top against two other excellent projects which the jury had nominated for the final round.
The team has developed materials and uses doping to create new, powerful organic electronics. “Organic” in this context simply means that bonds of carbon are used as they predominate in nature. Many of these materials have semiconducting properties and can in principle assume electronic functions. The team from Dresden was able to considerably increase their efficiency by means of doping with certain other materials.
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 a large-area, especially soft and high-quality light, innovative solar cells that can be rolled up, are exceptionally affordable and recoup the cost of energy used in their production after a very short time. Other possible uses are in integrated electronic circuits for use in clothing, labels, or bandages which can improve the quality of life and the safety of numerous applications.
The work of the team began as fundamental research at the Technical University in Dresden where Prof. Leo is head of the Institute for Applied Photonics and the Fraunhofer IMPS. Manufacturing processes and the first components were developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems. The industrial realization of this research has resulted in spin-offs such as Novaled AG and Heliatek GmbH. Dr. Jan Blockwitz-Nimoth is currently CSO at Novaled AG. Martin Pfeifer is CTO of Heliatek GmbH.
The Federal President not only honored the prizewinners, but also the other projects nominated in this select group. President Wulff conveyed certificates to both of the other teams nominated with the prizewinners in recognition of their achievements.
The nominated teams are:
Dr. Uwe Franke, Dr. Stefan Gehrig and Dr. Clemens Rabe from Daimler AG, Stuttgart, with their project
6D vision – Recognizing Danger Faster than Humans
Hansjörg Lerchenmüller, Soitec Solar GmbH, Freiburg, Dr. Andreas W. Bett, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Freiburg, and Dr. Klaus-Dieter Rasch, AZUR SPACE Solar Power GmbH, Heilbronn with their project
Concentrated Sunlight – Used Efficiently.