Additive printing processes for flexible touchscreens: increased materials and cost efficiency. Free within this context; source: INM

The INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials has developed new processes with photochemical metallization and printing (gravure printing, inkjet printing) of transparent conductive oxides (TCOs), which are significantly more time- and cost-saving. These will be presented by the scientists at this year's Hannover Messe from 1 to 5 April at Stand C54 in Hall 5.

Flexible electronics without sintering. Free within this context; source: INM

The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials presents hybrid inks for inkjet printing that contain metal nanoparticles coated with conductive polymers. The inks can be formulated in water and in other polar solvents and are suitable to print conductive structures on a range of substrates without any subsequent thermal or UV treatment. Standard metal inks require annealing after inkjet printing to become conductive. INM’s new inks obviate this step, making them compatible with many substrates including thin polymer foils and paper.

(c) Saarland University

Strong enough not only for use in impact protection systems in cars, but able to absorb the shock waves produced by a detonation. Those are just some of the properties shown by the metallic foams developed by materials scientists Stefan Diebels and Anne Jung at Saarland University. Their super lightweight and extremely strong metal foams can be customized for a wide range of applications. The inspiration for the new foam system came from nature: bones. Using a patented coating process, the Saarbrücken team is able to manufacture highly stable, porous metallic foams that can be used, for example, in lightweight construction projects.

Hot springs such as the Tengchong Yunnan hot spring in China are a preferred habitat of the investigated microorganisms. Credit: Prof. Wenjun Li

Methane is not only a powerful greenhouse gas, but also a source of energy. Microorganisms therefore use it for their metabolism. They do so much more frequently and in more ways than was previously assumed, as revealed by a study now published in Nature Microbiology by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and Jiao Tong University in Shanghai. 

The desired nanographenes form like dominoes via cyclodehydrofluorination on the titanium oxide surface. All ‘missing’ carbon-carbon bonds are thus formed after each other in a formation that resembles a zip being closed. (Image: FAU/Konstantin Amsharov)

Nanostructures based on carbon are promising materials for nanoelectronics. However, to be suitable, they would often need to be formed on non-metallic surfaces, which has been a challenge – up to now. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have found a method of forming nanographenes on metal oxide surfaces. Their research, conducted within the framework of collaborative research centre 953 – Synthetic Carbon Allotropes funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), has now been published in the journal Science.

Marie Claude Bay and Corsin Battaglia work in a glove box on the solid state batteries of the future. Empa

As part of a strategic international cooperation program of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Empa in Dübendorf (CH) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg (D) launched a three-year joint research project at the beginning of January to create the basis for a produc-tion-ready next generation of traction batteries for electric cars. In contrast to lithium-ion cells currently in use, these will consist only of solids and will no longer contain flammable liquid electrolytes. The Fraunhofer ISC contributes its know-how in process development and battery cell production and produces the first prototypes.

Prototypes of the eyecatcher motorcycle jacket with luminous integrated flexible OLEDs at LOPEC 2019. © EMDE development of light GmbH

Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible OLEDs integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.

Biobased film for sustainable packaging. © Fraunhofer IGB

At ICE 2019, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Polymer Research IAP, for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB and for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP will present innovative technologies for sustainable food packaging. They each have extensive expertise in processing, process development and control, the development of special polymer films and the deposition of ultra-thin layers for the packaging industry.

Biological effects under the microscope. Empa

Graphene is considered one of the most interesting and versatile materials of our time. The application possibilities inspire both research and industry. But are products containing graphene also safe for humans and the environment? A comprehensive review, developed as part of the European graphene flagship project with the participation of Empa researchers, investigated this question.

The aim is to use the combi-machine to produce branched microtubes as well as complete microfluidic systems. © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Either fast or precise – both cannot be achieved in the production of the finest polymer structures with the laser. Or maybe they can? Combining stereolithography and multiphoton polymerization should make it possible: Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are developing a machine for high-precision, cost-effective 3D construction technologies using both methods. On November 1, 2018, Fraunhofer ILT and its project partners launched the project “High Productivity and Detail in Additive Manufacturing through the Combination of UV Polymerization and Multi-Photon Polymerization – HoPro-3D”, which is funded by the European Union and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Cyanobacteria in the lab: The new active ingredient was isolated from cultures of the freshwater cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus. Photo: Klaus Brilisauer

Chemists and microbiologists at Tübingen University discover sugar molecule that inhibits the growth of plants and microorganisms and is harmless to human cells ‒ An alternative to controversial glyphosate? Researchers at the University of Tübingen have discovered a natural substance that could compete with the controversial herbicide glyphosate: The newly discovered sugar molecule synthesized from cyanobacteria inhibits the growth of various microorganisms and plants but is harmless to humans and animals. The joint study was led by Dr. Klaus Brilisauer, Professor Stephanie Grond (Institute of Organic Chemistry) and Professor Karl Forchhammer (Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine). It was published in the journal Nature Communications on Friday.

Cryo-EM structure of the linked complexes of CcmM (red) and Rubisco (green) in liquid droplets (yellow). Formation of this network is the first step in carboxysome biogenesis in cyanobacteria. Illustration: Huping Wang, Andreas Bracher © MPI of Biochemistry

Photosynthesis is a fundamental biological process which allows plants to use light energy for their growth. Most life forms on Earth are directly or indirectly dependent on photosynthesis. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Germany have collaborated with colleagues from the Australian National University to study the formation of carboxysomes – a structure that increases the efficiency of photosynthesis in aquatic bacteria. Their results, which were now published in Nature, could lead to the engineering of plants with more efficient photosynthesis and thus higher crop yields.

The aquatic fern Salvinia molesta traps underwater in a thin layer of air, which it can hold for many weeks. © Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Barthlott/Uni Bonn

If ship hulls were coated with special high-tech air trapping materials, up to one percent of global CO2 emissions could be avoided. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the University of Bonn together with colleagues from St. Augustin and Rostock in a recent study. According to the study, ships could save up to 20 percent of fuel as a result of reduced drag. If so-called antifouling effects are also considered, such as the reduced growth of organisms on the hull, the reduction can even be doubled. The study has now been published in the journal “Philosophical Transactions A”.

A blow-in insulation becomes solid. Empa

Scientists at Empa teamed up with isofloc AG to develop an insulating material made of recycled paper. It is ideal for prefabricated wooden elements and even multistory timber houses, and protects the construction against fire. What's more: The additive it contains is harmless to humans, animals and the environment. Franziska Grüneberger looks contented; clutching a nondescript cube made of grey flakes in her hand the researcher in the laborato-ry for applied wood materials has achieved her goal: Very little chemistry went into the cube, but no shortage of technical expertise. The tiny object is “living” proof that giant mountains of waste paper can be transformed into a valuable, fireproof insulating material – a big step to save fossil fuels. Not that anyone could tell just by looking at it.

Pressure vessel (autoclave) for the hydrogenation of fluorinated pyridines. The reactions are carried out at a hydrogen pressure of 50 bar. Frank Glorius

A team of chemists at the University of Münster led by Prof. Frank Glorius have developed a new, simple synthetic method for producing fluorinated piperidines –which had previously been very difficult. These compounds play a major role in the development of new active ingredients. The results have just been published in the online edition of the journal “Nature Chemistry”.

First author Aurore Dupin and Prof. Friedrich Simmel at the fluorescence microscope. Image: U. Benz / TUM

Friedrich Simmel und Aurore Dupin, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, exchange small chemical signaling molecules to trigger more complex reactions, such as the production of RNA and other proteins. Scientists around the world are working on creating artificial, cell-like systems that mimic the behavior of living organisms.