Optical technologies in North Rhine-Westphalia: High level of expertise in organic electronics
Optical technologies are regarded as belonging to the key technologies of the 21st century and are an important lever for many segments, from the electronics industry and machine engineering through to medicine. Compared with the national average, North Rhine-Westphalia is home to a disproportionately high number of companies and research institutions in the field of optical technologies. A total of 20 technical colleges and universities are active in this technology segment and form the scientific basis for new jobs and product developments. With a total of more than 550 organisations in the research and industry sectors, North Rhine-Westphalia represents a national centre of optical technologies.
Organic electronics, which will revolutionise lighting systems, belong to the major future technologies of our time. Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) can be used in all manner of different objects as flexible components, and together with LEDs they transform energy into light substantially more efficiently than light bulbs.
In organic electronics, a differentiation can be made between four main application areas: Lighting (OLED), photovoltaic systems (OPV), displays and flexible electronics. A global market volume of 57 billion dollars is forecast for 2019 for this highly sophisticated technological segment. In the long term, this market should grow to be worth 300 billion dollars by 2027, which corresponds to today’s sales volume for the entire semiconductor industry.