Sunday, October 11, 2015

UK collaboration seeks to develop new ultra-barrier materials based on graphene interlayers & roll to roll ALD

As reported by New Electronics : The Centre of Process Innovation (CPI) has announced that it has joined a UK based collaboration called ‘Gravia’, to develop the next generation of ultra-barrier materials using graphene for the production of flexible transparent plastic electronic based displays for the next generation of smartphones, tablets and wearable electronics.

The graphene market is predicted to be worth more than £800million by 2023 and could transform the manufacturing landscape in the UK.The project, including the University of Cambridge, FlexEnable and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), expects to deliver a feasible material and process system. It builds upon existing investments by Innovate UK and the EPSRC in this area.

CPI Cleanroom

“The collaboration brings together world class supply chain expertise across the UK to bridge the gap from Graphene research to the manufacturing of commercial flexible display screens,” said James Johnstone, business development manager at CPI. 

“CPI’s role in the project is to use roll-to-roll atomic layer deposition technologies to scale up, test and fabricate the ultra barrier materials.”

Beneq Roll to Roll Atomic Layer Deposition Tool - CPI offers a roll to roll atomic layer deposition (ALD) tool which is capable of handling films up to 600mm wide with thicknesses ranging from 20 – 200 µm and can produce an active coat width of 480mm.

The incorporation of graphene interlayers offers potential for flexible displays. Its gas blocking properties will enable barrier materials that are flexible, transparent, robust, and impervious to many molecules. Gravia will seek to accelerate product development, improving upon current ultra barrier performance and lifetimes by producing consistent barrier materials and processes on large area substrates by utilising specialist growth techniques. The key challenge will be to develop large-area poly-crystalline graphene films which maximise performance whilst mitigating process imperfections.

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