Flexibility will have an impact on many areas of life in the future. Besides using OLED modules in different types of displays, flat ”warm” light that doesn’t blind the eyes will soon no longer be a dream for foldable or rollable screens. Photo: tesa
Flexible Electronics on Rolled Glass
The industry consortium KONFEKT is developing new technologies for the use of glass-on-a-roll in organic electronics. The project that SCHOTT is involved in is being supported by the German Federal Government.
Dr. Haike Frank
The three technology companies SCHOTT, tesa and VON ARDENNE have joined to work as a consortium on an exciting project. KONFEKT is aimed at driving forward the development of ultra-thin glass-on-a-roll for use in applications, such as organic electronics, to produce future generations of OLED applications. The goal is to refine flexible glass through lamination with functional adhesive tapes and the application of specific functional layers. The hope is that this will result in a rolled-up substrate that can be easily processed, providing unique properties for many applications in roll form. Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting this development for a period of three years with a total of 5.6 million euros.
SCHOTT manufactures ultra-thin glass that is only 25 to 150 microns thick and ideally suited for roll-to-roll applications. Photo: SCHOTT
In subproject one, SCHOTT and tesa are working together to protect sensitive electronic components such as OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) from humidity and oxygen by using ultra-thin glass. Reliable encapsulation protects the sensitive components against aging. Flexible glass is well-suited as a barrier material because it forms a layer that is chemically impermeable to water vapor and oxygen, even in a thickness of a few 10 micrometers. In addition, unlike coating solutions, flexible glass does not have any pinholes. tesa’s expertise as a developer of specialty tapes comes into play in lateral sealing. The ultra-thin glass will be delivered to the user rolled up and laminated with a special adhesive layer.
Photo left: The new transparent tesa barrier tapes equipped with the patented tesa DrySeal® Liner Technology can be processed safely and quickly by using roll-to-roll techniques. This process on full-surface OLED encapsulation saves time and money – and is an important building block for the production concept of the future. Photo: tesa. Photo right: Through finishing with a transparent electrode layer, flexible glass will be made available in the future as a substrate for the roll-to-roll production of flexible OLEDs. Photo: VON ARDENNE / Corporate Archive
”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 a roll for innovative use in manufacturing electronic components,” says Dr. Ruediger Sprengard, Director of Business Development for Ultra-Thin Glass at SCHOTT. <
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