Optik plus Elektronik - gedruckt, integriert, zukunftsweisend (Presseinfo vom 5. November 2019)

Optics plus electronics - printed, integrated, trend-setting (press release of 5 November 2019)


Photonics - Basic research is ready for application: The Institute of Transport and Automation Technology is part of the BMBF-funded "OptiK-Net" project with a project volume of around three million euros.

The aim of the project, which officially started in October 2019, is to ideally combine the advantages of electronic circuit boards with those of optical communication; these advantages are integration density, functional diversity, electromagnetic compatibility and high bandwidth.

The process chain to be developed within the project will be the world's first industrial solution for cost-effective flexible PCB-based optical networks.

In battery and charging technology, converter systems are now being used, on whose printed circuit boards voltages of several hundred volts are switched - very susceptible to interference for the communication channels. Optical data transmission is more robust. It will also play a central role in future sensor information transmission networks, for example for (electric) mobility or autonomous driving.

In the OptiK-Net joint project, two new approaches are being pursued that will enable cost- and resource-efficient production of such optical waveguides: On the one hand, it will be possible to print highly functional polymer-based optical waveguides directly and on an industrial scale, for example by screen, flexographic or gravure printing. On the other hand, the fiber optic structures produced are to be integrated into electrical circuit boards for the first time in order to realize an electro-optical rigid-flex composite.

The novel technology is based on the results obtained in the Collaborative Research Centre/ Transregio PlanOS. The Institute of Transport and Automation Technology (ITA), as the spokesman institute, played a major role in these results, which are now being developed to application maturity in cooperation with industrial partners. In addition to the ITA as a university partner, eight companies are involved in the research project. The project, which bears the official title "Direct printing and integration of optical short-distance networks (OptiK-Net)", is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the funding initiative "Miniaturized optical systems with high integration density". Companies interested in the new technology as potential partners or customers can contact the ITA or the project partner Hotoprint directly. Further information can also be found on the project page 

Note to editors:

For further information please contact Gerd-Albert Hoffmann from the Institute of Transport and Automation Technology at +49 511 762 3849 or by e-mail at and Nils Tolle from Hotoprint Elektronik GmbH & Co. KG in Lamspringe at +49 5183 9405 0 or by e-mail at