Pilot scale ultra-barrier defect detection tool developed
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), IBS Precision Engineering and the University of Huddersfield just presented a wavelength scanning interferometer system that enables the fast surface measurement of low contrast defects at pre‐industrial scale, which they developed and manufactured as part of the FP7 NanoMend project. The tool will be installed at CPI’s National Printable Electronics Centre in June 2014.
The companies that were involved in the project believe that current interferometry systems are too slow to perform the large number of measurements required to enable defect detection analysis for large scale ultra-barrier films. Their solution is to use wave length scanning, which is able to produce a quantitative measurement of the film layer topographies in the form of a three dimensional image. Analysis of thin film defects with interferometry is said to provide richer information on the nature of the defect, so its significance may be assessed.
The wavelength scanning interferometer developed by the consortium analyses defects by using 3D technology and is able to perform at the speed required for ultra-barrier films at proof of concept scale. It has been invented and proven at laboratory scale at the University of Huddersfield and the installation at CPI provides the infrastructure to scale up the technology to provide proof of concept data on roll-to-roll manufacturing processes for high performance ultra-barrier. The wavelength scanning interferometer instrument will be retrofitted to an existing web handling tool at CPI, with a technology roadmap devised to advance the development towards wider industrial applications in thin film quality assurance.
The NanoMend project is a pan-European collaborative, end user led project aimed at pioneering novel technologies for in-line detection, cleaning and repair of micro and nano scale defects on thin films deposited on large area substrates. The consortium includes a mix of industrial and academic partners and has received €7.25 Million of funding from the EU FP7 Programme.