To avoid any breakage of the ultra-thin glass when rolling or processing the consortium partners are are focusing on the optimisation of the process, and to deliver a glass on roll
The KONFEKT research consortium have been working together to drive forward the development of a "convertible thin-glass functional substrate for applications in organic electronics". The KONFEKT project is planned to run until mid-2018, and has now begun to announce its achievement and demonstrators.
Each partner participating in the KONFEKT project brings its unique expertise to the research consortium with the aim of achieving a robust and unbreakable glass on roll by the end of the project, which maintains its functional surface area through coating and laminating processes.
With a minimal thickness of 25 micrometers (µm) Schott's ultra-thin glass is thinner than a single human hair - and in ultra-thin thicknesses of less than 150 micrometers this glass has proven to be bendable yet stable.
This leads to advantages over other substrate materials such as plastics, metals or silicon. In addition, as an inorganic material, glass offers a wide variety of benefits, whether it is in terms of optical quality, temperature stability, chemical consistency, gas density or mechanical resistance.
Despite the fact that there are still technical challenges to overcome in the near-term, the development partners are optimistic that through further intensive research work and close and productive collaboration they will be able to bring glass on roll to market readiness.
Because it is absolutely critical to avoid any breakage of the ultra-thin glass when rolling or processing it, the consortium partners are currently placing their focus on the optimisation of this aspect of their combined research. Ultimately, the goal is to deliver a glass on roll which meets the highest possible quality standards.
The Konfekt research project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) - funding project 13N13818.
Figure: Fraunhofer FEP/Schott/Tesa/Von Ardenne - Ultra-thin flexible glass
Dr. Manuela Junghähnel, group head for flatLab at Fraunhofer FEP, said, "With its reputation as a leading research and development center for the processing of flexible glass, Fraunhofer FEP is in a position to gather many of the global key players within the industry to attend VISION | Flexible Glass, including glass manufacturers, mechanical engineers and end users. With our workshop, we have committed ourselves to further developing and expanding the network with the aim of coming up with more innovative ideas for pioneering applications in this area."
Thomas Wiegel, application engineer for ultra-thin glass at Schott, said, "Printed electronics is an interesting growth market where ultra-thin special glass can represent the optimal substrate for it." Thomas added, "which is why we are looking forward to giving visitors at LOPEC and VISION | Flexible Glass an exclusive preview of our research results thus far. We plan to have a close-to-production prototype of glass on roll with us, which tangibly demonstrates where we are at the moment and in which direction we are planning to go forward with it."
Dr. Andreas Nilsson, Vice President Web Coating Von Ardenne, said, "As an innovative mechanical engineering company, Von Ardenne brings decades of experience in the development and manufacture of roll-to-roll coating machinery for films and metal strips to this project, not to mention a wealth of know-how in magnetron sputtering for large-scale glass coating." Andreas added, "With our new web coating system, the FOSA LabX 330 Glass, we want to demonstrate today the feasibility of this forward-looking technology and we are truly thrilled about the exciting application development made possible based on flexible glass."
SCHOTT is a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass and glass-ceramics. The company has more than 130 years of outstanding development, materials and technology expertise and offers a broad portfolio of high-quality products and intelligent solutions.
SCHOTT is an innovative enabler for many industries, including the home appliance, pharma, electronics, optics, life sciences, automotive and aviation industries. SCHOTT strives to play an important part of everyone’s life and is committed to innovation and sustainable success. The group maintains a global presence with production sites and sales offices in 34 countries. With its workforce of approximately 15,000 employees, sales of 1.99 billion euros were generated in fiscal year 2015/2016.The parent company, SCHOTT AG, has its headquarters in Mainz (Germany) and is solely owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. As a foundation company, SCHOTT assumes special responsibility for its employees, society and the environment.
About Von Ardenne
Von Ardenne develops and manufactures equipment for industrial coatings on materials such as glass, wafers, metal strip and polymer films. These coatings give the surfaces new functional properties and can be between one nanometer and a few micrometers thin, depending on the application. The coated materials are the basis for products such as architectural glass, solar modules or touch screens.
Von Ardenne is a leading provider of architectural glass coating equipment and coating systems for thin-film photovoltaics. The family-owned company with subsidiaries in China, Japan, Malaysia and the USA relies on customer proximity in order to offer ideal on-site service. Von Ardenne equipment is in operation in more than 50 countries around the world.
Source: Von Ardenne
About Fraunhofer FEP
The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP works on innovative solutions in the fields of vacuum coating, surface treatment as well as organic semiconductors. The core competences electron beam technology, sputtering and plasma-activated deposition, high-rate PECVD as well as technologies for the organic electronics and IC/system design provide a basis for these activities. Thus, Fraunhofer FEP offers a wide range of possibilities for research, development and pilot production, especially for the processing, sterilization, structuring and refining of surfaces as well as OLED microdisplays, organic and inorganic sensors, optical filters and flexible OLED lighting. Our aim is to seize the innovation potential of the electron beam, plasma technology and organic electronics for new production processes and devices and to make it available for our customers.
Source: Fraunhofer FEP
tesa SE is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of technical adhesive tapes and self-adhesive system solutions (more than 7,000 products) for industrial and professional customers as well as end consumers. Since 2001, tesa SE (4,100 employees) has been a wholly owned affiliate of Beiersdorf AG (whose products include NIVEA, Eucerin, and La Prairie). Applications for various industrial sectors, such as the automotive industry, the electronics sector (e.g. smartphones, tablets), printing and paper, building supply, and security concepts for effective brand and product protection, account for about three-quarters of the tesa Group’s sales (2015: 1,139.6 billion euros). tesa also recently began partnering with the pharmaceuticals industry to develop medicated patches. tesa earns just under one-quarter of its sales in the consumer segment, where 300 products make working at home and at the office easier.