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SCHOTT solutions no. 2/2016 > Focus / Lifestyle

Printed electronics
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Printed electronics

Ultra-thin glass forms the basis for product innovations in many fields. SCHOTT developed this amazing material and established special process technologies.

Dr. ­Rüdiger Sprengard

Our glass sheets have a range of extraordinary properties, which make them remarkably robust and reliable. The semiconductor industry has already discovered ultra-thin glass as a key ­element of the innovation roadmap. In a first step, we made our way into commercial applications like the smartphone market, with a focus on fingerprint sensors. Camera imaging, chip packaging and thin-film batteries will follow.

Innovative trendsetter: Flexible glass substrates thinner than a human hair open up new potential applications for future ­technologies such as OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell
Currently, we are seeing the new era of ­organic or printed electronics emerging that is changing the rules, from miniaturization to large areas, from silicon to organic semiconductors, from vacuum processing to printing. Glass is an ideal substrate material for this industry.

Its high temperature stability enables the sintering of conductive inks. Its unsurpassed hermeticity protects organic materials, which are extremely sensitive to moisture and oxygen. Its excellent optical quality and scratch-resistance make it the best choice for the interface to the user.
Dr. ­Rüdiger Sprengard
Dr. Rüdiger Sprengard, Director of New Business for Ultra-Thin Glass at SCHOTT, is the author of this article. Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell
SCHOTT is now working to build up a manufacturing equipment ecosystem for the use of ultra-thin glass, even as glass-on-roll, in this industry. Therefore, we are collaborating with industry partners, partially funded by the German BMBF, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Various functionalities can be realized by using printed electronics, such as touch sensors, flexible displays and lighting, solar cells and smart labels. Printed electronics on ultra-thin glass will undoubtedly soon be used in many industries ranging from consumer electronics to packaging, white goods and the automotive industry. —
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Ultra-Thin Glass
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