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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 63 | 15. September 2017
Priority Programme “High Frequency Flexible Bendable Electronics for Wireless Communication Systems (FFLexCom)” (SPP 1796)

In September 2015, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “High Frequency Flexible Bendable Electronics for Wireless Communication Systems (FFLexCom)” (SPP 1796). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the second three-year funding period.

Vision and Goals

In the past electronic devices have mainly been advanced regarding performance, power consumption and costs. A further interesting property of future electronics is mechanical flexibility, which can come together with advantageous features such as bendability, stretchability, light weight, ultra thinness, transparency, large area integration and easy recyclability. These properties can be achieved by modern TOLAE (thin film organic and large area electronics) technologies.

Cut-off frequencies up to the 100 MHz range and bending radii down to 3 mm were reported for TOLAE devices such as transistors. These recent achievements indicate a novel promising research area: Wireless communication systems fully integrated on ultra-thin, bendable and flexible substrates such as plastic or even paper. Hence, conventional rigid circuit boards would not be required any more. However, to enable functional flexible systems and sufficiently high operation frequencies for wireless communications, the speed of flexible TOLAE devices and circuits must be massively increased.

The FFlexCom programme wants to pave the way for circuits and systems for wireless communications, which are fully integrated in TOLAE technologies. The following areas are expected to be covered:

  • Research on optimised wireless system architectures taking into account the limited operation frequencies, bandwidths and device counts of TOLAE technologies. Activities demonstrating the data communication on basis of receivers and/or transmitters fully integrated in TOLAE technologies are highly encouraged. The investigations can also include multifunctional flexible wireless systems featuring localisation radar and identification in addition to communications.
  • Design of key circuits such as low noise amplifiers, power amplifiers, low noise oscillators and synthesisers, frequency converters, analogue to digital converters and digital to analogue converters, as well as simple data modulators and demodulators using fast TOLAE technologies. One main challenge is to achieve sufficiently high operation frequencies considering the moderate performance of TOLAE devices.
  • Exploration of concepts for TOLAE devices such as transistors and diodes which enable very high operation frequencies up to the GHz regime. Examples for corresponding innovations are: Vertical transistor structures, aggressively down-scaled gate lengths, 2-D semiconductors or even 1-D structures. Advanced organic and inorganic high-mobility materials such as indium gallium zinc oxide, zinc tin oxide, molybdenum sulphide, tungsten disulphide, are examples for promising candidates for high speed TOLAE transistors. Low loss passive TOLAE devices (if possible tuneable) such as inductors, capacitors, antennas, filters and resonators are also important components.
  • Precise compact small signal, large signal and noise modelling for the TOLAE devices enabling efficient circuit design.
  • Advanced studies for low loss homogeneous and heterogeneous packaging of TOLAE devices and TOLAE based interconnects maintaining flexibility.

Focus of the Second Phase

In the first phase the focus was mainly put on material research, the design and modelling of devices, as well the design of simple basic circuits. In the second phase, further corresponding improvements are encouraged. However, compared to the first phase, the priority is put on circuits with higher complexity, transmitters, receivers, complete transceiver frontends, system packaging, as well as the demonstration of wireless transmissions using TOLAE technology.

Organisation and Cooperation

To enable the required breakthrough for wireless communication systems fully integrated in TOLAE technologies, the combination of multidisciplinary competences is required within the Priority Programme. Hence, FFlexCom aims at bringing together experts from different disciplines including electrical engineering, physics, chemistry and mechanical engineering. To stimulate the synergies and the networking between the projects, organise joined workshops and dissemination activities, promote early career researchers and gender issues, a coordinating project will be implemented.

Proposal Submission

Submissions of research proposals authored by a single investigator, as well as clusters of investigators are invited. Important: All submissions must clearly contribute to the advancements of TOLAE-technologies, -circuits and -systems for high frequency wireless communications. Otherwise submissions would not be in the focus of this programme.

Proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by 16 January 2018. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system.

Applicants must be registered in elan prior to submitting a proposal to the DFG. If you have not yet registered, please note that you must do so by 2 January 2018 to submit a proposal under this call; registration requests received after this time cannot be considered. You will normally receive confirmation of your registration by the next working day. Note that you will be asked to select the appropriate Priority Programme call during both the registration and the proposal process.

If you would like to submit a proposal for a new project within the existing Priority Programme, please go to Proposal Submission – New Project – Priority Programmes and select “SPP 1796” from the current list of calls. Previous applicants can submit a proposal for the renewal of an existing project under Proposal Submission – Proposal Overview/Renewal Proposal.

In preparing your proposal, please review the programme guidelines (form 50.05, section B) and follow the proposal preparation instructions (form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal. In addition to submitting your proposal via elan, please send an electronic copy to the programme coordinator.

The review colloquium for the Priority Programme will presumably take place at the Technische Universität Dresden in spring 2018.

Further Information

More information on the Priority Programme is available under:

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms 50.05 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Ellinger,
    Technische Universität Dresden,
    Institut für Grundlagen der Elektrotechnik und Elektronik,
    Professur für Schaltungstechnik und Netzwerktheorie,
    Helmholtzstr. 18, BAR 118/119,
    01069 Dresden,
    phone +49 351 463-38735,
    Link auf E-Mailfrank.ellinger@tu-dresden.de

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Programme contact:

Administrative contact:


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