Coherent is lending its expertise in laser technology to the Holst Centre, an open innovation initiative by IMEC and TNO, in the field of flexible electronics.
Selective removal and deposition of thin layers is an important research challenge for future flexible-electronics applications such as organic photovoltaics (OPV) or for lighting and signage based on organic light emitting diodes (OLED). OPV and OLED devices are composed of multilayer stacks that are often less than 100nm thick. The smallest amount of debris can therefore generate defects resulting in non-functioning devices.
The cooperation between Holst Centre and Coherent encompasses the installation of a short-pulse (picosecond) laser source in the electronic foils processing equipment to be used for high-precision and low-defect laser ablation in sheet-to-sheet production of OLED and OPV devices. The potential of the laser to comply with short processing times allows the transition towards roll-to-roll at a later stage in the collaboration, which is important for low cost production. Coherent intends to take the results of the application and use it to expand its knowledge in flexible electronics manufacturing.
Holst Centre has a considerable amount of expertise in integration technologies for applications in flexible foils. Investments in state-of-the art equipment support the Holst Centre's ambition of becoming a leading player in this field. The current cooperation with Coherent is another step forward in the growth of the programme and will allow Holst Centre to make significant progress in laser-based technologies.