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Printed Electronics World
Posted on August 9, 2011 by  & 

Next generation of flexible OLEDs in the pipeline

ALD NanoSolutions will use a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop flexible hybrid inorganic/polymer multilayer gas diffusion barriers using atomic layer deposition (ALD) and molecular layer deposition (MLD). These multilayer barriers will use a roll-to-roll process for the next generation of flexible organic light emitting diodes (FOLEDs) and thin film photovoltaics.
The failure of flexible organic electronic devices occurs because air and moisture can easily permeate through the polymer substrates that support the devices. These oxidants can degrade light-emitting organics and/or lead to the oxidation of metal cathodes. Unfortunately, single inorganic films deposited onto polymers using sputtering or evaporation do not provide adequate gas diffusion barriers for FOLEDs and various other flexible electronic devices. To minimize permeation, Polymer ALDTM creates transparent inorganic thin ALD films on polymers and provides a gas diffusion barrier. Multilayer films consisting of separate flexible individual inorganic and organic layers can be employed to obtain extremely low, ultra-barrier performance.
"In order to realize the promise of novel electronics and thin film photovoltaics , ultra-barrier ALD coatings are needed to protect them. Nano-engineered barriers will address not only lifespan and performance issues, but also offer flexibility in order to develop innovative new products" said Dr. Karen Buechler, President and CTO of ALD NanoSolutions.
The patented process of depositing ALD films on polymers will allow the company to improve barriers for a wide variety of market applications. The composition and thickness of the ALD films can also be customized to provide additional benefits such as protection from UV and space based environments.
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