Replacing glass as a substrate or encapsulation layer for OLEDs, Quantum dot, CIGS, OPV or Perovskite modules and printed electronics by polymer foil enhances the flexibility and robustness of these devices and reduces their thickness and weight. However, it requires that these foils contain an extremely good barrier against water and oxygen permeation.
Based on our spatial ALD technology (s-ALD), we offer integrated web coating tools for high speed roll-to-roll production of ultra-high water barrier foils with excellent optical properties and cost of ownership.
Our spatial atomic layer deposition technology combines the advantages of ALD (no pinholes, very high conformity, precise layer thickness control and low temperature processing) with an unparalleled deposition rate, which is up to 100 times faster than conventional ALD.
Furthermore our ALD technology is an atmospheric process, avoiding the need for vacuum chambers and pump systems. This makes our solution a very economic one, both in terms of equipment cost as well as floor space. Moreover, the use of precursor materials is reduced significantly with respect to vacuum coating techniques, only adding more to the cost benefit.
For our ultra-barrier coatings we use TMA and water as the precursors for deposition of aluminum oxide as a transparent flexible and very tight barrier layer. The intrinsic water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) of a 20 nm layer is shown to be in the 10-5 g/m2/day range. Moreover, the optical transparency of the foil is not compromised. When combined with a polymer planarizing layer, very high performance barrier films on basis of e.g. PET foils can be made at up to 1.5 m/min throughput. The process temperature is below 100 °C, compatible with polymer foil materials like PET and PEN. For the production of a typical barrier foil we combine ALD coating with a planarization and top coating step, building a high quality and robust barrier stack.