2013 Merck

Forest spiral and light-emitting diode

5. SEC Technology Tour: Senior chemists from GDCh and VAA visit Hundertwasser-Haus and Merck in Darmstadt.

A proven concept: joint excursions by Senior Expert Chemists (SEC) from the GDCh and retired VAA members from the Hanau-Wolfgang factory group. Technology combined with art and enjoyment: the fifth SEC Technology Tour on November 14, 2013. The program included the Waldspirale (the Hundertwasser House) and the Merck company in Darmstadt.

Vierzig Senioren und Hundertwasser


Ulrike Strobl, a chemist colleague, organized the visit to Merck with perfection. We had chosen organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) as the main topic in advance. Merck is currently doing intensive research in this area. Before that, however, the seniors were able to admire the Merck factory premises in Darmstadt, which is over 1 km2 in size, from the bus. Then she received Dr. Voges from OLED research gave a lecture on the mode of action and possible applications of organic light-emitting diodes - naturally with the help of an OLED screen measuring several square meters. The core of an OLED is a thin layer of semiconducting, organic compounds that emits light when a voltage is applied. OLED displays light up themselves and therefore, unlike LCD screens, do not need a backlight. In addition, they can be made on curved or even flexible materials, they show rich colors and above all a deep black. Thanks to the possibility of printing the display electronics onto a substrate (instead of using vapor deposition), OLED screens can be produced much cheaper in the future. The new OLED research building at Merck was inaugurated in 2010 in the presence of the Federal Chancellor. At EUR 50 million, it is the largest single investment in the history of Merck research. The seniors were able to admire the latest generation of curved and even transparent screens, also in 3D. They could even take a tour of the OLED test labs and marvel at the outside of the clean rooms. Following this, Dr. Thomas Geelhaar, the spokesman for chemical research, gave an insight into the methods used at Merck to find ideas for the future. The networking of young talents and the dialogue between experienced R&D managers and top students play a major role here. But even with the now mature LCD technology - Merck has a global market share of over 60% in this sector - new applications are constantly being developed. For Merck, this means close cooperation with important local customers in Korea, China and Japan. After an overview of the history of the company and the Merck family, the seniors were able to deepen the many impressions over coffee and cake.

Forest spiral

The forest spiral is a late work by the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. He died in 2000 shortly before the house was completed. The large building with 102 apartments, a café and a restaurant winds in a large spiral around an inner courtyard. Together with the architect Springmann, Hundertwasser consistently implemented his concept. For the artist, the spiral is a symbol of communication and closeness; two golden onion domes, visible from afar, crown the building, an allusion to Hundertwasser's Jewish origins and a symbol of wealth. Above all, it avoids any straight line! In the "Mold Manifesto" in 1958 he wrote: "Today we live in a chaos of straight lines ..." and later: "The straight line is godless." Every window in the house is unique. Nature is carefully included in the form of trees or a stream, and the roof areas of the spiral ramp are consistently wooded.

Technology tours

SEC Technology tours are currently being organized by Wolfgang Gerhartz, Tel 06251-938558. Suggestions for the design of future excursions are welcome.

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last modified: 25.11.2023 12:29 H from Translator