Three technology companies, Schott, Tesa and Von Ardenne are collaborating on a new project for the development of ultra-thin glass-on-roll. It is anticipated that the three-year, €5.6 million project will result in a process-ready rolled substrate that offers unique properties for applications such as organic electronics, particuarly the production of future generations of OLEDs.
The three partner companies in the KONFEKT (thin glass for glass-polymer laminates) project are focusing on two features of thin glass.
The first subproject features the development of a laminate made of ultra-thin glass with a barrier adhesive tape that will serve as a hermetic encapsulation of electronic components. The second subproject will focus on ways that ultra-thin glass can serve as a functional substrate for demanding applications, such as components for organic electronics.
In subproject one, Schott and Tesa are working to protect sensitive electronic components such as OLEDs from humidity and oxygen by using ultra-thin glass. Reliable encapsulation will protect sensitive components from aging − flexible glass is well suited as a top ultra-barrier (z barrier) because it forms a chemically impermeable layer that is impenetrable to water vapour and oxygen, even at a thickness of 10µm.
Tesa will provide the special adhesive layer used to laminate the ultra-thin glass. This adhesive layer ensures that the components are not only sealed hermetically by the glass on their surface, but also experience no lateral diffusion of liquids and gases (x/y barrier).
This roll application will provide processing companies with a high-quality and cost-effective sealing process.
In the second subproject, equipment manufacturer Von Ardenne is developing a vacuum coating system specifically for roll-to-roll coating of flexible glasses to meet special handling requirements, which will allow thin glass to be used as a functional substrate in sophisticated electronic applications.
‘We expect the consortium to play an important role in the next three years in the development of a new production platform based on glass-on-roll for innovative use in manufacturing electronic components,’ said Dr Ruediger Sprengard, director of business development for ultra-thin glass at Schott.