The Konfekt research project in Germany aims to promote the development of ultra-thin flexible glass, which is optimized for flexible glass by using functional tape lamination and special adhesive layer, and further used in the manufacture of new generation OLED products such as organic electronics.
Ultra-thin flexible glass can be used for organic printing electronics
A German Konfekt research project has developed flexible glass just 25 micrometres thick that can be used as a substrate for organic printed electronics and solar cells, and further drive applications such as a new generation of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) products.
The Konfekt research alliance presented its first results at the VISION | Flexible Glass conference hosted by Fraunhofer FEP in Germany.The alliance includes the Fraunhofer institute of organic electronics, the electron beam and plasma technology institute, SCHOTT, VON ARDENNE and tesa, the tape maker.
Ultra-thin glass can be as thick as 150um, and is produced in the German Schott manufacturing plant in Grunenplan, using a stretch process of direct thermal molding, in which the fused glass is stretched to the ideal thickness through the nozzle.The key is that glass can be mass-produced in a low-cost roll-to-roll (R2R) process, which is being further developed and is expected to be optimized by mid-2018.Tesa, a tape manufacturer, takes special adhesives and functional layers as the glass for the final lamination step, providing comprehensive protection.
SCHOTT and tesa try to use ultra-thin glass to prevent sensitive electronic components, such as OLED, from being affected by humidity and oxygen.Reliable packaging helps prevent aging of sensitive components.Layout properly as the top super barrier layer, as it will form a chemical impermeable layer that can block water, steam and oxygen even if the thickness is only 10 micrometers.Tesa performs its function on the lateral seal - the ultra-thin glass delivered to the user to laminate the special bond layer.This bond layer not only ensures that the surface of the assembly is sealed by glass, but also prevents liquid and gas diffusion.
The researchers say using flexible glass substrates offers a range of benefits in optical mass, temperature stability, chemical consistency, gas density and mechanical resistance.It can also be used as a substrate for low-cost solar cells.
The vacuum coating system for R2R coating of soft glass can meet the special treatment requirements of soft glass.The flexible glass can be used as functional substrates in complex electronics applications, such as transparent conductive oxide film (TCO), such as indium tin oxide (ITO), in special vacuum PVD coating processes using the same methods used to make OLED or solar cells.
"Fraunhofer FEP is a major research and development center for soft glass manufacturing, which is sufficient to call on a number of global key players in the industry, including glass manufacturers, mechanical engineers and end-users," said Manuela Junghahnel, director of flatLab at Fraunhofer.We are working to further develop and expand the network to bring forward more innovative ideas for pioneering applications in this area."
"" printing electronics is a growing market where ultra-thin special glass provides the best substrate." "SCHOTT ultra-thin glass application engineer Thomas Wiegel said: "" this is why we are looking forward to previewing existing research findings.We plan to jointly produce the glass prototype in roll-to-roll process, which will be sufficient to show our latest research results and the direction we plan to go.