New film for flexible electronics
DuPont Teijin Films (DTF) is developing a new ‘Clean-on-Demand’ PET polyester film that according to the company could boost yields and cut costs for roll-to-roll (R2R) production of flexible electronics. It features a protective layer that is said to keep the active surface of the film clean and free from particulate contamination until it is used, reducing defects. This development is made as part of the EU-funded, Holst Centre-coordinated Clean4Yield project.
The main aim behind this development is to directly address one of the key issues affecting flexible electronics yields: defects caused by particulate contamination on the substrate. The new Clean-on-Demand film is covered with a protective layer that is removed immediately before depositing the barrier layer that protects the sensitive flexible electronics circuitry from the environment.
Moreover, initial trials suggest that depositing and then removing the protective layer can change surface topography. Together, the lower contamination and altered surface smoothness allow high-quality barriers to be created using less material, significantly reducing manufacturing costs. In tests performed at Holst Centre, the Clean-on-Demand film with a single-layer silicon nitride barrier has already achieved water vapor transmission rates of 5 x 10-5g /m2/day.
The Clean4Yield project was launched in May 2012 to develop technologies for inspecting, cleaning and repairing moving foils, and so ensure cost-effective production of printed electronics. Funded through the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) under Grant Agreement No. 281027, it brings together commercial and research partners from Europe and Israel and covers the entire value chain.