Ultra-thin Flexible Glass Can Be Used In OLED Products

The German Konfekt research program is dedicated to promoting the development of ultra-thin flexible glass. Through the use of functional tape lamination and special adhesive layers, it is optimized for flexible glass and further used in the manufacture of next-generation OLED products such as organic electronics.




Ultra-thin flexible glass enables organic printed electronics


A Konfekt research project in Germany has developed a flexible glass with a thickness of only 25 microns, which can be used as a substrate for organic printed electronics and solar cells, and will further drive applications such as next-generation organic light emitting diode (OLED) products.


The Konfekt Research Alliance recently presented its first research results at the VISION | Flexible Glass conference hosted by Fraunhofer FEP, Dresden, Germany. The alliance includes the Fraunhofer Institute of Organic Electronics, the Institute of Electron Beam and Plasma Technology, SCHOTT, VON ARDENNE, and tape manufacturer tesa.


The ultra-thin glass has a thickness of up to 150um and is produced in Schott's manufacturing plant in Grunenplan, Germany. It uses a direct thermoforming stretching process, in which the molten glass is stretched through the nozzle to the desired thickness. The key is that glass can be mass-produced in a low-cost roll-to-roll (R2R) process, which is currently being further developed and is expected to be optimized by mid-2018. Tape maker tesa uses a special adhesive and functional layer as the final lamination step for the glass to provide comprehensive protection.


SCHOTT and tesa tried to protect sensitive electronic components (such as OLED) from humidity and oxygen with ultra-thin glass. Reliable packaging helps prevent aging of sensitive components. Reasonable layout as the top super barrier layer, because it will form a chemical barrier layer, even if the thickness is only 10 microns, it can block water, steam and oxygen. Tesa functions on the side seal-the ultra-thin glass delivered to the user will be laminated with a special adhesive layer. This adhesive layer not only ensures that the surface of the component is hermetically sealed with glass, but also prevents liquid and gas diffusion.


Researchers say the use of flexible glass substrates can bring a host of benefits in terms of optical quality, temperature stability, chemical consistency, gas density, and mechanical resistance. It can also be used as a substrate for low-cost solar cells.


The vacuum coating system specially used for R2R coating of flexible glass can meet the special processing requirements of flexible glass. This flexible glass can be used as a functional substrate in complex electronics industry applications. For example, transparent conductive oxide film layers (TCO) such as indium tin oxide (ITO) use the same methods used to make OLED or solar cells. Application in special vacuum PVD coating process.


Manuela Junghahnel, director of FraLab's flatLab, said, "Fraunhofer FEP is the main R & D center for flexible glass manufacturing, which is enough to call on many important global players in the industry, including glass manufacturers, mechanical engineers and end users. We are committed to further development and expansion Network, to bring more innovative ideas for pioneering applications in this field. "


"Printed electronics is a growing market, and ultra-thin special glass can provide the best substrate for it." SCHOTT ultra-thin glass application engineer Thomas Wiegel said: "This is why we look forward to previewing existing research results. We plan to The joint production of glass prototypes in a roll-to-roll process will be enough to show our latest research results and the direction we plan to go forward. "