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Ultra-thin soft glass can be used for OLED products
Jun 23, 2017

Germany Konfekt research program is committed to promoting the development of ultra-thin soft glass, through the use of functional tape laminating and special adhesive layer for soft glass to optimize, and further for organic electronics and other new generation of OLED products manufacturing.


A Konfekt research program in Germany has developed a soft glass with a thickness of only 25 microns and can be used as a substrate for organic printed electronics and solar cells and to further drive applications such as new generation of organic light emitting diode (OLED) products.

Konfekt Research Alliance recently in Germany Dresdner research institutions Fraunhofer FEP sponsored VISION | Flexible Glass show on the first research results. The consortium includes the Fraunhofer Institute of Organic Electronics, the Institute of Electron Beam and Plasma Technology, SCHOTT, VON ARDENNE and tape maker Tesa.

The thickness of the ultra-thin glass is up to 150 um and is manufactured at the Schurg's manufacturing facility in Grunenplan, Germany, using a direct thermoforming drawing process in which the molten glass is stretched through the nozzle to the desired thickness. The key is that the glass can be mass-produced at a low cost roll-to-roll (R2R) process. At present, the process is being further developed and is expected to be optimized by mid-2018. Tape manufacturer tesa with a special adhesive and functional layer for the glass for the final step to provide a comprehensive protective effect.

SCHOTT and tesa try to use ultra-thin glass to prevent sensitive electronic components such as OLEDs from being affected by humidity and oxygen. Reliable packaging helps prevent the aging of sensitive components. Reasonable layout as the top of the super barrier layer, because it will form a chemical impermeable layer, even if the thickness of only 10 microns, but also to block water, steam and oxygen. Tesa functions on the lateral seal - the ultra-thin glass delivered to the user will laminate the special adhesive layer. This adhesive layer not only ensures that the surface of the assembly is airtighted by the glass, but also does not cause liquid and gas diffusion.

Researchers say the use of flexible glass substrates can bring a series of benefits in terms of optical quality, temperature stability, chemical consistency, gas density and mechanical resistance. It can also be used as a substrate for low cost solar cells.

Specifically for soft glass R2R coating vacuum coating system can meet the special requirements of soft glass. This flexible glass can be used as a functional substrate in complex electronic industry applications, such as indium tin oxide (ITO) and other transparent conductive oxide film (TCO) using OLED or solar cells used in the same way, Special vacuum PVD coating process applications.

"Fraunhofer FEP is the leading R & D center for soft glass manufacturing," said Manuela Junghahnel, director of FlatLab, Fraunhofer's flatLab. "We are committed to further development and expansion of a number of key global industry players, including glass manufacturers, mechanical engineers and end users. Network, for this area of pioneering applications put forward more innovative ideas.

"Printed electronics is a growing market where ultra-thin special glass offers the best substrate." SCHOTT's ultra-thin glass application engineer Thomas Wiegel said: "That's why we look forward to previewing the existing research results. "Together with a roll-to-roll process, we will be able to show our current research results and the way we plan to move forward."

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