Showing posts with label Flexible Electronics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flexible Electronics. Show all posts

Friday, July 23, 2021

PlasticARM - A natively flexible 32-bit Arm microprocessor using ALD

Woah - PlasticARM 32-bit microprocessor using ALD and other thin film deposition techniques on a flexible substrate.

A natively flexible 32-bit Arm microprocessor using ALD

John Biggs, James Myers, Jedrzej Kufel, Emre Ozer, Simon Craske, Antony Sou, Catherine Ramsdale,
Ken Williamson, Richard Price & Scott White
Nature volume 595, pages532–536 (2021)

Abstract: Nearly 50 years ago, Intel created the world’s first commercially produced microprocessor—the 4004, a modest 4-bit CPU (central processing unit) with 2,300 transistors fabricated using 10 μm process technology in silicon and capable only of simple arithmetic calculations. Since this ground-breaking achievement, there has been continuous technological development with increasing sophistication to the stage where state-of-the-art silicon 64-bit microprocessors now have 30 billion transistors (for example, the AWS Graviton2 microprocessor, fabricated using 7 nm process technology). The microprocessor is now so embedded within our culture that it has become a meta-invention—that is, it is a tool that allows other inventions to be realized, most recently enabling the big data analysis needed for a COVID-19 vaccine to be developed in record time. Here we report a 32-bit Arm (a reduced instruction set computing (RISC) architecture) microprocessor developed with metal-oxide thin-film transistor technology on a flexible substrate (which we call the PlasticARM). Separate from the mainstream semiconductor industry, flexible electronics operate within a domain that seamlessly integrates with everyday objects through a combination of ultrathin form factor, conformability, extreme low cost and potential for mass-scale production. PlasticARM pioneers the embedding of billions of low-cost, ultrathin microprocessors into everyday objects.

a, The SoC architecture, showing the internal structure, the processor and system peripherals. The processor contains a 32-bit Arm Cortex-M CPU and a Nested Vector Interrupt Controller (NVIC), and is connected to its memory through the interconnect fabric (AHB-LITE). Finally, the external bus interface provides a General-Purpose Input-Output (GPIO) interface to communicate off-chip with the test framework. b, Features of the CPU used in PlasticARM compared to those of the Arm Cortex-M0+ CPU. Both CPUs fully support Armv6-M architecture with 32-bit address and data capabilities and a total of 86 instructions from the entire 16-bit Thumb and a subset of 32-bit Thumb instruction set architecture. The CPU microarchitecture has a two-stage pipeline. The registers are in the CPU of the Cortex-M0+, but in the PlasticARM the registers are moved to the latch-based RAM in the SoC to save the CPU area of the Cortex-M. Finally, both CPUs are binary compatible with each other and to other CPUs in the same architecture family. c, The die layout of PlasticARM, denoting the key blocks in white boxes such as the Cortex-M processor, ROM and RAM. d, The die micrograph of PlasticARM, showing the dimensions of the die and core areas. From: A natively flexible 32-bit Arm microprocessor

Friday, July 2, 2021

Future foldable and flexible Display with NCD’s ALD encapsulation technology

In the global market of smart phones, competition on mobile’s form factors has been an important issue since foldable smart phones had launched following cured ones. Samsung electronics applied in-folding form factor to Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip, and Huawei used out-folding form factor to Mate X. New two or three folding form factor has been unveiling to the public beyond in-folding and out folding displays.

Flexible displays consist of Thin Film Transistor (TFT), Organic Light Emission Diode (OLED) and multi encapsulation layers. Generally organic and inorganic laminated layers is used for foldable displays and PECVD has applied to deposit inorganic materials.

Basically, Inorganic layers is lack of brittleness then their encapsulation property is degraded with continuous mechanical stress. ALD method for TFE was considered instead of PECVD due to their excellent encapsulation characteristics with thicknesses of few tens of nanometers. The reliability of the tool blocked applying to production at that time.

But because of the superior encapsulation property using ALD, many universities, institutes as well as display companies have been developing ALD inorganic layers for flexible displays and evaluating hundreds of thousand times folding test considering actual use recently.

LucidaTM GD Series ALD

The customer which has NCD’s Lucida GD Series ALD, measured folding test on flexible displays with inorganic layers using ALD instead of using PECVD and showed great performance under actual display operation. The 5.85 inch AMOLED display panels for in-folding and out-folding consisted of encapsulation structure of 30nm Al2O3 ALD/ 8㎛-Polymer/ 30nm Al2O3 and was tested in-folding and out-folding evaluation of 200,000 times with bending radius of 2R under light status after the 1st reliability test of RA 60℃/90% for 500hr. There were no dark spots on the panels after finishing the folding measurement. The 2nd reliability test of RA 60℃/90% for 48hr followed folding evaluation and then the TFE status was examined without any cracks.

Using NCD’s large area batch ALD system for foldable phones could obtain superior encapsulation property and flexibility with very thin inorganic layers to current ones using PECVD as well as provide great productivity because the batch tool can process lots of panels at one time.

Then NCD really looks forward to applying its large area batch ALD technology to encapsulation of future flexible display with in/out-folding and very small bending radius because of having solved the previous issues without both reliability and productivity that the reason is why ALD equipment didn’t apply for mass production of flexible display.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Foldable Laptops Are On Their Way To Hit The Market By 2020 With Lenovo’s Unveiling Of The World’s First Foldable Laptop

ALD is know to be used in the OLED foldable display manufacturing as a moisture barrier mainly for foldable smartphones and other mobile devices. It’s not been many days of Samsung and Huawei unveiled their first foldable smart-phones: The Galaxy Fold and Mate X, respectively. Now Lenovo is jumping on board with a foldable laptop prototype in its ThinkPad X1 family powered by an Intel processor. For now, it’s just a prototype, but Lenovo may launch it for sale by 2020. The official visual preview can be seen here
Engadget ( "We got a chance to get our hands on Lenovo's new early prototype foldable PC. This device has some familiar features like an OLED screen and Bluetooth keyboard, but unlike other 2-in-1 laptops, the entire device can fold in half. This lets it fold up to around the size of a paper notebook for easy transport, or even lets you turn the bottom half into a keyboard you can type on. This is still early tech, but it's a look at what portable devices could be in the near future."
The prototype is with a 13.3″ screen that you can fold into the size of a compact 9.6″ Moleskine notebook. The laptop can be unfolded entirely and you can use the built-in kickstand on the rear to keep the screen standing up. You can also connect a Bluetooth keyboard to the device to use it as a traditional laptop; or, you can also just fold the screen halfway, and place it down on a table to use the bottom half as a virtual keyboard for typing. An attached stylus from Wacom can be utilized for super-accurate touch input or for virtual ink. The laptop also employs an attractive OLED screen (2K screen resolution, 4:3 aspect ratio) manufactured by LG display.

Lenovo doubles the number of hinge cycles it tests for its laptops to prevent the wear down of the foldable mechanism over time. Because it is under the ThinkPad name, the product will still need to pass Lenovo’s “rigorous” testing for ThinkPad category to ensure it’s just as durable. This is a Windows-based device, and Lenovo is working with Microsoft to make sure the software experience is optimized for this foldable format, for example, swapping to different modes needs to be seamless, and Windows needs to improve its tablet and touch interface to add value to this product. Moreover, the laptop has stereo speakers, an infrared camera, and two USB-C ports. Lenovo also claims it will offer an “all-day battery,” but there is no numeric figure out yet. 
A patent application has just been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, which comprises a foldable notebook with an OLED screen and a keyboard portion. Lenovo (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. US20190011955 DEVICE WITH FOLDABLE DISPLAY (LINK)
However, last Thursday, a senior Intel executive told the Nikkei Asian Review that the foldable laptops are at least two years away. "It's early path-finding now, and we are trying to understand the capability and the limitation of the [foldable] technology," Joshua D. Newman, Intel's general manager of mobile innovation and vice president of the company's Client Computing Group, said Wednesday on the sidelines of an Intel symposium in Taipei. (Link
By Abhishekkumar Thakur and Jonas Sundqvist

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

LG Display’s 65-inch rollable OLED TV will go to production

ALD moisture barriers for flexible and shaped electronics, displays and solar cells have been researched, developed and scaled up for production for some time now. Besides rounded display edges of smart phones and gizmo's that have been shown at trade shows and other events there has not yet been that many potential high volume markets out there.
LG Display’s 65-inch rollable OLED TV as presented at CES2019 (
It’s been a year since LG Display’s 65-inch rollable TV prototype was demonstrated at CES, and now LG Electronics is bringing it to market as the company’s flagship 4K OLED TV for 2019. The finished Signature OLED TV R that consumers will be able to buy sometime this spring — for an astronomical, premium price — is quite similar to that prototype, but LG has refined the base station and added a 100-watt Dolby Atmos speaker for powerful built-in audio.This is a TV that’s there when you want it and disappears when you don’t. 
Youtube: LG Display’s 65-inch rollable OLED TV is only a prototype, so there’s no price or release date, but it’s still very cool. The Verge Senior editor Vlad Savov got a first look at the TV at CES 2018.
Not everyone loves having a big, black rectangle as the focal point of their living room, and plenty of people don’t own a TV at all. This TV disappears completely whenever you’re not watching. It drops slowly and very steadily into the base and, with the push of a button, will rise back up in 10 seconds or so. It all happens rather quietly, too.There’s also a mode — LG calls it “Line Mode” — where the display will drop down so that only about one-fourth of the panel is showing. You’ll still have on-screen music controls and the option to control your smart home gadgets in this mode. 
LG also includes some mood-setters like a crackling fireplace or rain sounds. Support for Alexa voice controls are being added this year in addition to the existing Google Assistant integration in LG’s webOS software; you just hold down the Prime Video button on the remote to bring up Alexa. And LG is also one of the companies that’s adding Apple’s AirPlay 2 for easy media playback or device mirroring. You can play music on the Atmos speaker system even when the TV is fully rolled up, which is great. Port selection is on par with other premium LG sets, and they’re all located at the back of the base. LG is making the move to HDMI 2.1 with its 2019 series, so that’s a big plus in terms of future proofing this very expensive TV.

Source: The Verge (LINK)

By Abhishekkumar Thakur and Jonas Sundqvist

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Review Article - ALD for oxide semiconductor thin film transistors

Review Article: Atomic layer deposition for oxide semiconductor thin film transistors: Advances in research and development

Jiazhen Sheng, Jung-Hoon Lee, Wan-Ho Choi, TaeHyun Hong, MinJung Kim, and Jin-Seong Park
Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 36, 060801 (2018)


Monday, May 7, 2018

ALD at Printed Electronics Summit Printed Electronics Summit, June 14-15, 2018 Barcelona

Printed Electronics Summit is a 2-day event that will take place on June 14-15, 2018 in Barcelona,  Spain. The Summit will bring together researchers, technology innovators and manufacturing companies working in the area of printed, flexible and organic electronics in order to discuss latest developments, future trends and challenges in materials, processes and printing technology. Learn from the leading players in the industry, get ample opportunities for networking, knowledge sharing and discussion, and enjoy several days in sunny Barcelona.

The summit offer s a quite exsiting preogram which can be found here: LINK

At least two case studies will be presented ralated to ALD processing:

ALD Ultrabarriers for Flexible Electronics Encapsulation
Jacques Kools, CEO & Founder Encapsulix
  • Ultrathin inorganic coatings made by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD)
  • Using advanced nanoengineering to modify material properties on the atomic scale
  • Development and commercialisation of industrial deposition equipment and technology
Flexible OLEDs for Automotive Applications: Challenges and Risks
Claudia Keibler-Willner, Head of Department S2S Organic-Technology, Fraunhofer FEP
  • Flexible OLEDs
  • Segmented OLEDs
  • Colortuneable OLED
  • Applications in automotive 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

AUO introduced bi-directional foldable AMOLED display with less than 4 mm folding radius

OLED Net reports: Taiwanese company, AU Optronics(AUO) introduced bi-directional foldable AMOLED display at IDW(International Display Workshoops) 2016 opened in Japan Fukuoka from last December 7th through 9th, which both internal and external displays can be bent 180 degrees.

The Display has an impressivily small folding radius of less than 4 mm and can endure folding cycle of more than 1.2 million times. There are no reports yet of which encapsulation technology that has been employed.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Picosun extends life time for flexible electronics with ALD encapsulation

ESPOO, Finland, 26th May, 2016 – Picosun Oy, the leading supplier of high quality ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) production solutions, brings to the printed electronics market ALD equipment specifically designed for large area flexible electronics encapsulation.

Manufacturing electronic components on flexible plastic substrates enables light-weight, bendable, and lower cost end-user products. Flexible displays, wearable electronics and “smart” clothes are some of the most common examples. More specific applications can be found in medical and security industries, where advanced X-ray detectors are being developed utilizing organic electronic components printed on plastic foils.

Organic electronics has the potential to enable a whole new generation of products, but one of its main drawbacks is the components’ sensitivity to moisture and airborne impurities. Ultra-thin ALD nanolaminates provide an ideal solution to this. Flexible, invisible, and practically weightless ALD films form dense and pinhole-free encapsulation over the components’ surface, down to the smallest nanoscale details. In Picosun’s new large area ALD tools, especially developed for the needs of the printed electronics industries, high quality ALD films can be manufactured cost-efficiently on large plastic sheets and at temperatures low enough for sensitive organic materials.

“We have again put our extensive expertise in ALD system design to work to realize completely novel technology for the vast market of printed electronics. Our new, large area batch ALD systems are developed and optimized in collaboration with these industries. Their disruptive design enables cost-efficient encapsulation of large sheets of organic electronic components, producing sustainable, long-lived end products for consumers as well as industries,” summarizes Mr. Timo Malinen, Chief Operating Officer of Picosun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Beneq Introduces New Rotary Spatial ALD Solution

Today Beneq is reporting (Press release) : Beneq, a leading supplier of ALD equipment and thin film coating services, and Lotus Applied Technology, a technology development and licensing company working to break down the cost and throughput limitations of conventional Atomic Layer Deposition, today announced that they have signed a licensing agreement about Lotus Applied Technology’s Vortex ALD technology. Beneq will be using the technology developed by LotusAT in new rotary spatial ALD equipment that provides low process cost and high productivity in industrial ALD applications, such as barrier, passivation, insulation and protection applications for MEMS, LED, OLED, photovoltaics, memory, battery and sensors. 

A fast industrial solution for high performance coating of wafers

The new equipment will provide an optimal solution for ALD on wafers in industrial applications and will complement Beneq’s extensive portfolio of large-throughput spatial ALD solutions for industrial use, which already includes roll-to roll ALD equipment and continuous large-area ALD solutions for moving sheet substrates.

First Transistors Made Entirely of Nanocrystal ‘Inks’ for flexible electronics

University of Pennsylvania engineers have shown a new approach for making transistors by sequentially depositing their components in the form of liquid nanocrystal “inks.” Their technology could one day be used to develop chips for flexible and wearable applications. Here is the complete story by Penn State. Mark LaPedus at Semiconductor Engineering, puts it in the big picture with other developments for  Monolitic at CEA/Leti and Vertical Slit Transistor Based Integrated Circuits (VeSTICs) developed by Carnegie Mellon University in this article (thanks for sharing!)

A 1 nm thin Al2O3 deposited by ALD that is used to passivate the CdSe NC layer before depositing the source and drain electrodes to prevent delamination during the lithographic patterning.

Flexible transistors (Picture from Penn State)

The study by Cherrie Kagan's group at Penn State is a collaboration with research groups in South Korea at Yonsei and Korea University and has been published in Science "Exploiting the colloidal nanocrystal library to construct electronic devices", please find the abstract below.

Kagan's group at Penn State developed four nanocrystal inks that comprise the transistor, then deposited them on a flexible backing (Picture from Penn State).

Exploiting the colloidal nanocrystal library to construct electronic devices

Ji-Hyuk Choi, Han Wang, Soong Ju Oh, Taejong Paik, Pil Sung, Jo, Jinwoo Sung, Xingchen Ye, Tianshuo Zhao, Benjamin T. Diroll, Christopher B. Murray, Cherie R. Kagan

Science, vol. 352 no. 6282 205-208,

Synthetic methods produce libraries of colloidal nanocrystals with tunable physical properties by tailoring the nanocrystal size, shape, and composition. Here, we exploit colloidal nanocrystal diversity and design the materials, interfaces, and processes to construct all-nanocrystal electronic devices using solution-based processes. Metallic silver and semiconducting cadmium selenide nanocrystals are deposited to form high-conductivity and high-mobility thin-film electrodes and channel layers of field-effect transistors. Insulating aluminum oxide nanocrystals are assembled layer by layer with polyelectrolytes to form high–dielectric constant gate insulator layers for low-voltage device operation. Metallic indium nanocrystals are codispersed with silver nanocrystals to integrate an indium supply in the deposited electrodes that serves to passivate and dope the cadmium selenide nanocrystal channel layer. We fabricate all-nanocrystal field-effect transistors on flexible plastics with electron mobilities of 21.7 square centimeters per volt-second.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Foldable Transistor Arrays Using Reversibly Foldable Interconnects and Stretchable Origami Substrates

Here is a cool application for ALD demonstrated by Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), South Korea - Foldable Transistor Arrays Using Reversibly Foldable Interconnects and Stretchable Origami Substrates. Check out the video in the supplemntary information linked below! The Al2O3 was deposited using a LUCIDA D100 ALD reactor form NCD.

Fully-integrated, Bezel-less Transistor Arrays Using Reversibly Foldable Interconnects and Stretchable Origami Substrates

Mijung Kim, Jihun Park, Sangyoon Ji, Sung-Ho Shin, So-Yun Kim, Young-Cheon Kim, Ju-Young Kim and Jang Ung Park

Nanoscale, 2016, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR02041K
Received 10 Mar 2016, Accepted 10 Apr 2016
Movie of the  Reversibly Foldable Interconnects and Stretchable Origami Substrates (Link)
Here we demonstrate Fully-integrated, Bezel-less Transistor Arrays using stretchable origami substrates and foldable conducting interconnects. Reversible folding of these arrays is enabled by origami substrates which are composed of rigid support fixtures and foldable elastic joints. In addition, hybrid structures of metal thin film and metallic nanowires worked as foldable interconnects which are located on the elastomeric joints.

Friday, January 8, 2016

CPI in The UK and Beneq Sign Collaboration Agreement to Commercialise Roll-to-Roll ALD Technology

As reported by AZO Nano: The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and Beneq have signed a long term collaboration agreement for the use of atomic layer deposition (ALD) technologies in printable electronics applications.

The agreement brings together Beneq’s expertise in the field of high precision vacuum coating alongside CPI’s specialist capability in the scale up of printed electronics. Working together, the two organisations will provide world leading capability for the commercialisation of ALD techniques, creating an open access environment for companies to develop ultra barrier solutions in areas such as photovoltaics, OLEDs, microelectronics and sensors.

The collaboration agreement follows on from CPI’s recent installation of two atomic layer deposition tools from Beneq for the development of conformal nano-scale coatings; one batch ALD tool and one state of the art roll-to-roll ALD ( R2R ALD) system. In particular the roll-to-roll ALD tool processing technology will be actively developed between the two companies.

The partnership between Beneq and CPI means that we will be able to constantly refine and optimise our capability and associated processes over the coming years to ensure that we remain a world leader in atomic layer deposition coatings.

Through this strategic alliance, the continuing developments will give us the flexibility to constantly meet and exceed the demands of our diverse customer requirements.

Alf Smith - Business Development Manager, CPI

Beneq and CPI share a vision of the enabling role of atomic layer deposition in flexible electronics. CPI’s personnel are skilled in using the Beneq ALD equipment so this partnership is a natural continuation to the work we have already carried out together.

Combining CPI’s extensive process capabilities with our know-how of ALD equipment and industrial ALD production allows us to achieve more. Pilot-scale operation and rapid prototyping with our equipment provides Beneq with invaluable information on system performance, and our customers benefit from an established R&D platform and – in the end – faster time to market with ALD applications.

Dr Mikko Söderlund - Head of Industrial Solutions, Beneq

ALD is applied as a specialist barrier coating technique used for the protection of optoelectronic devices and is being utilised by CPI to add moisture ultra-barrier protection layers to flexible polymer substrates used to produce optoelectronic devices using sensitive active electronic materials.

Thin films produced using the ALD method are cost efficient, defect free and completely conformal, thus providing superior barriers and surface passivation compared with other deposition techniques. These properties make them ideal for numerous kinds of critical applications that utilise flexible films such as Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED), flexible display screens, photovoltaic cells and wearable electronics to name but a few.

Current commercial barrier films, based on multilayer laminates are typically prohibitively expensive for large area applications while single thin layer barrier structures from ALD deposition have demonstrated the potential to reduce this cost significantly whilst retaining the requisite barrier and flexibility properties.

Further application areas of ALD and R2R ALD will be developed during the collaboration, where conformal nano-scale coatings are beneficial which would include transport, interfacial and contact layers in devices such as OLEDs, PV and sensors for example.

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.

Monday, August 24, 2015

ALD Encapsulation technologies for flexible electronics

Here is an overview on encapsulation technologies for flexible electronics covering the main technologies and players. So just scroll down to the interesting part about ALD sating the main OEMs:
  • Lotus
  • Encapsulix
  • Synos (Veeco)
From a market perspective tehr is a forecast from IDTechEx Barrier Layers for Flexible Electronics 2015-2025: Technologies, Markets, ForecastsRead more at:

Barrier layer market forecasts in US$ million

Status of flexible encapsulation to enable flexible electronics

In 2020, flexible barrier manufacturing for flexible electronic devices such as displays will be a market worth more than US$184 million, according to IDTechEx Research. That equates to 3.8 million square meters of flexible barrier films for electronics.

Although multilayer approaches – usually organic and inorganic layers – have been the most popular solution for flexible encapsulation so far, there is significant development work with solutions based on single layer approaches such as flexible glass or atomic layer deposition (ALD) which could, in later years, capture part of the market. The table below, compiled by IDTechEx analysts shows some of the characteristics of flexible glass and ALD films as developers are looking to bring them to market.


Atomic layer deposition (ALD) present and future outlook/market share 

ALD is another flexible encapsulation technology receiving a lot of attention with several players currently developing solutions based on it. It seems like it is not a short-term solution, if it will ever be one as a stand-alone layer but ALD may be a solution in a multi-layer stack in combination with a sputtered or PECVD layer if it would be possible to find a good cost structure. Regarding the intrinsic properties of the material, ALD film deposited at low temperature (T<80 C) have a superior quality when tested at room temperature. A single ALD layer less-than 50 nm thick can perform better than thicker layers deposited by sputtering or PECVD.

However, the inherent stability of the films at higher temperature/humidity (e.g. 85C/85%RH) is a problem. If PE-CVD is used, ALD film stability improves, as well as for mixed oxides, but it is still an issue. A second problem comes with particles and substrates non-uniformity. Any defect may lead at an initial non-uniform nucleation that propagates into the growing film. Furthermore, loose particles on substrates may be partially covered, but because of the extreme thinness, the thin film does not have the mechanical strength to keep them in place under mechanical stress. Any mechanical stress leads to film fracture with consequent creation of an ingress path for moisture. That is why multilayer structures are necessary.

Deposition tools are in development from Lotus, Beneq, Encapsulix and others. Exploration at Samsung SDC with ALD films for TFE was very much advertised by Synos, but resulted in failure and any further evaluation was halted. ALD for barrier on foil has better results although there are doubts and hurdles in scaling up and reaching the deposition speed required for a cost effective process.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Phosphorene transistors and circuit units for flexible Nanoelectronics

Phosphorene transistors and circuit units feature outstanding electrical performance and strong mechanical robustness and can therefore be used in flexible nanoelectronics for building transistors and other devices. Here is a good paper in SPIE Newsroom from University of Texas at Austin

Phosphorene for flexible nanoelectronics

Weinan Zhu, Maruthi N. Yogeesh and Deji Akinwande

Few-layer black phosphorus (BP) has attracted ever more attention since its debut last year as a new 2D layered semiconductor.1, 2 The puckered crystal structure distinguishes its physical properties from plane-structured graphene with a thickness-tuned bandgap ranging from 0.3 to ∼2eV. Its exceptional electrical properties include high hole mobility (∼1000 cm2/Vs) and high field-effect current modulation (105).2, 3 These properties enable both high-speed and low-power nanoelectronic applications beyond the demonstrated performance capability of graphene or transitional metal dichalcogenides (TMDs).

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spatial ALD at low temperature for flexible electronics encapsulation using a BENEQ R2R

A recent paper on Spatial ALD at low temperature for flexible electronics encapsulation using a BENEQ R2R system at Advanced Surface Technology Research Laboratory Team (ASTRaL), Laboratory of Green Chemistry, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland. Thanks Henrik Pedersen for finding this one!

Philipp S. Maydannik, Alexander Plyushch, Mika Sillanpää, and David C. Cameron

Water and oxygen were compared as oxidizing agents for the Al2O3 atomic layer deposition process using spatial atomic layer deposition reactor. The influence of the precursor dose on the deposition rate and refractive index, which was used as a proxy for film density, was measured as a function of residence time, defined as the time which the moving substrate spent within one precursor gas zone. The effect of temperature on the growth characteristics was also measured. The water-based process gave faster deposition rates and higher refractive indices but the ozone process allowed deposition to take place at lower temperatures while still maintaining good film quality. In general, processes based on both oxidation chemistries were able to produce excellent moisture barrier films with water vapor transmission rate levels of 10−4 g/m2 day measured at 38 °C and 90% of relative humidity on polyethylene naphthalate substrates. However, the best result of <5 × 10−5 was obtained at 100 °C process temperature with water as precursor.

Schematic view of modified SALD TFS200R reactor with drum and N2 and precursor inlet, and exhaust ports. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 33, 031603 (2015);
Close up inside the drum of the Beneq TFS 200R, which is  designed for research in Roll-to-Roll atomic layer deposition (ALD) and other forms of continuous ALD (CALD). (

Information from In the TFS 200R, the flexible substrate is fixed on a rotating cylinder within the reaction chamber. The cylinder itself is surrounded by a number of linear nozzles, each creating an isolated gas region over the full width of the substrate. As the cylinder is rotated, the substrate passes through different gas regions and is coated.

The Beneq TFS 200R, with its robust and modular structure, is designed to meet both industrial standards and the flexibility requirements of research today. Precursor containers are conveniently small, and they can be easily changed. Depending on the process needs, the TFS 200R can be equipped with up to 2 heated sources, type HS 80 and/or HS 180. Additionally, the system can be equipped with up to 8 gas lines and up to 4 liquid sources.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Canatu transparent conductive carbon based CNB™ Flex Film for touch displays

According to a press release: During the 24th FINETECH JAPAN, 16th – 18th April 2014 in Tokyo Japan, Canatu will exhibit and introduce its transparent conductive CNB™ Flex Film which is optimized for flexible, curved or wearable touch devices and displays. Canatu also introduces its latest 3D formed and in-molded transparent CNB™ touch sensors that will unleash design possibilities for new creative industrial designs.

Check out the videos below for an explanation on more details, including the roll-to-roll Direct Dry Printing® (DDP) process which allows direct synthesis and patterned deposition of  NanoBud® films on any substrate material
The next big thing in touch technology is flexibility and 3D forms. Flexible and 3D shaped touch displays and surfaces are expected to become mainstream within the next 2-5 years. This trend is driving the need for high quality multi-touch sensors that can be freely bent, formed, twisted and rolled.

This new genre of touch devices will change the face of consumer electronics! Canatu’s ground-breaking technology enables high performance touch sensors for complex flexible and 3D shaped touch-enabled electronics devices and provides consumer electronics and automotive industry with long-awaited design freedom.
During the 24th FINETECH Japan we are proud to introduce our transparent conductive CNB™ Flex Film optimized for flexible, foldable, curved or wearable touch displays and touch devices.
CNB™ Flex Film belongs to Canatu’s CNB™ Film product family consisting of transparent conductive CNB™ Hi-Contrast Film optimized for flat projected capacitive touch devices, CNB™ Flex Film optimized for wearable, flexible and foldable touch-enabled electronics devices and CNB™ In-Mold Film which is targeted for 3D capacitive touch surfaces in smart watches, white goods control panels, automobile centre consoles and dashboards, connected user interface devices, and mobile phones. CNB™ In-Mold Film is stretchable up to 100% and can be thermoformed and overmolded with standard industrial processes such as Film Insert Molding (FIM) or In-Mold Decoration (IMD).
We will also showcase our latest demonstrators for 3D formed and in-molded transparent CNB™ touch sensors. The demonstrators prove that CNB™ sensors can be used in arbitrary 3D shapes and in touch applications that require high bending angles, sharp edges and deep stretch.
Canatu is a leading developer and manufacturer of transparent conductive films and touch sensors for an entirely new class of touch applications. Canatu’s transparent conductive films and touch sensors are based on a new type of carbon nanomaterial (Carbon NanoBud®), and a new, single-step manufacturing process combining aerosol synthesis of NanoBud® material and Roll-to-Roll deposition by Direct Dry Printing®. Canatu offers consumer electronics companies increasing design freedom with its innovative technologies.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Video from the manufacturing line at Plastic Logic's Dresden facility

Recently a video was released from Plastic Logic from the manufacturing factory in Dresden - If you´re in to Fab Automation you will like this one!
Plastic Logic is a spin-off company from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory and specialises in polymer transistors and plastic electronics. The company was founded in 2000 by Professor Sir Richard Friend, Professor Henning Sirringhaus and Stuart Evans. The company develops and manufactures color and monochrome plastic flexible displays in various sizes based on an organic thin film transistor (OTFT) technology. The headquarters of Plastic Logic is in Cambridge, United Kingdom. [Wikipedia, 2014-02-17]
Plastic Logic runs a commercial, high-volume organic electronics factory manufacturing plastic displays in Dresden, Germany. Check out the Video below!