Showing posts with label barriers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label barriers. Show all posts

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

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Quantum Dots-Silica Sphere with selective surface passivation by ALD for flexible displays

Bottom up Stabilization of CsPbBr3 Quantum Dots-Silica Sphere with Selective Surface Passivation via Atomic Layer Deposition
Qinyong Xiang, Binze Zhou, Kun Cao, Yanwei Wen, Yun Li, Zhaojie Wang, Chenchen Jiang, Bin Shan , and Rong Chen
Chem. Mater., 2018, 30 (23), pp 8486–8494

All-inorganic perovskite quantum dots suffer from poor stability in a humid and heat environment. In this article, CsPbBr3 quantum dots (CsPbBr3 QDs) are stabilized by coating nanoscale alumina on a CsPbBr3 QDs-silica luminescent sphere (CsPbBr3 QDs-SLS) via atomic layer deposition (ALD). Utilizing the intrinsic reactivity differences toward precursors, the surface defect sites of CsPbBr3 QDs are selectively passivated. The inorganic alumina coating layers can effectively reduce the ion migration and crystal deformation of CsPbBr3 QDs. In situ quartz crystal microbalance measurements show that organic ligands remain attached to the CsPbBr3 QDs surface during the ALD coating process. NMR, XPS, and first-principles calculations are performed to reveal the interaction strength between CsPbBr3 QDs-SLS and precursors. The surface passivation of alumina on CsPbBr3 QDs-SLS effectively stabilizes the QDs without reducing the photoluminescent quantum yield.

Reprinted with permission from Chem. Mater., 2018, 30 (23), pp 8486–8494. Copyright 2018 American Chemical Society.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The ultimate barrier - ALD barriers by Beneq

[Beneq] With ALD, it is possible to create moisture barriers that are thinner and keep humidity and vapors out better than other hermetic packaging options, which makes it a winning moisture barrier for many industries, especially the semiconductor industry. ALD moisture protection can be applied in different phases of the production process: wafer-level, chip-level, package-level, and/or during the final assembly of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

Read more in the Beneq Blog : LINK
Download white paper : LINK


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Transparent flexible capacitors by ALD high-k, ALD AZO and graphene electrodes

Transparent and flexible flat panel displays manufactured on plastic substrates and flexible substrates involve key technologies like ALD manufacturing of transparent electrodes and barriers. In addition, for the pixel-drive circuit of displays, capacitors are used for charging and discharging at very high speed. Having a high capacitance enables also a high color brightness for each pixel. Now researchers at Wuhan University, China has developed an capacitor technology that is has an excellent transparency and flexibility using the latest ALD and graphene processing technology. Please find the Open Access publication below.

In this study used comercially available graphene in the form of single-layer graphene that had been grown by CVD on copper foil from 2D Carbon Tech Inc. LTD, Changzhou, China. The ALD ZrO2 high-k and AZO was grown in an TSF 200 from Beneq.

Transparent and Flexible Capacitors with an Ultrathin Structure by Using Graphene as Bottom Electrodes
by Tao Guo, Guozhen Zhang, Xi Su, Heng Zhang, Jiaxian Wan, Xue Chen, Hao Wu and Chang Liu
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(12), 418; doi:10.3390/nano7120418  (registering DOI) - 28 November 2017
(Left) The schematic diagram of the ultrathin, transparent and flexible capacitors; (Right) The optical transmittance spectra of the capacitors on PEN substrates. The inset shows the optical photograph of the actual capacitor device with the characters “TFS 200” in the background, and the optical transmittance spectra of graphene and capacitors on quartz substrates. 
Ultrathin, transparent and flexible capacitors using graphene as the bottom electrodes were directly fabricated on polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrates. ZrO2 dielectric films were deposited on the treated surface of graphene by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The deposition process did not introduce any detectible defects in the graphene, as indicated by Raman measurements, guaranteeing the electrical performances of the graphene electrodes. The Aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) films were prepared as the top electrodes using the ALD technique. The capacitors presented a high capacitance density (10.3 fF/μm2 at 10 kHz) and a relatively low leakage current (5.3 × 10−6 A/cm2 at 1 V). Bending tests revealed that the capacitors were able to work normally at an outward bending radius of 10 mm without any deterioration of electrical properties. The capacitors exhibited an average optical transmittance of close to 70% at visible wavelengths. Thus, it opens the door to practical applications in transparent integrated circuits. Full article

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

ALD barrier improves stability of perovskite quantum dots

EPFL Reports: A new approach to stabilize perovskite quantum dots has been developed in the lab of Raffaella Buonsanti at EPFL Valais Wallis. ALD was used to encapsulate the perovskite quantum dots with an amorphous alumina matrix, which acts as a gas and ion diffusion barrier making the quantum dots more robust against air, light, heat, and moisture.

Reference paper: A. Loiudice, S. Saris, E. Oveisi, D. T. L. Alexander, R. Buonsanti. CsPbBr3 QD/AlOx inorganic nanocomposites with exceptional stability in water, light and heat. Angewandte Chemie 26 May 2017. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201703703

According to the publication an Ultratech/CNT Savannah 200 ALD was used to process the Al2O3 barrier. Please fin all the details in the supporting information (LINK) as well as a movie showing the accelerated test in a water bath (LINK)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Fraunhofer IVV improves barrier technology using atomic layer deposition

The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP and the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB will present new developments in films and the efficient control of coating processes at the upcoming International Converting Exhibition Europe ICE being held in Munich from 21 - 23 March 2017. Under the motto "Functional films – efficient coating processes", emphasis will be put on new film functionalities and accelerated test methods (Hall A5, Stand 1031). 

The Fraunhofer IVV has acquired a new coating plant which utilizes atomic layer deposition to further reduce the permeability of films. Minimizing the permeability to water vapor and oxygen is the key to successful further improvement of high barrier films. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is paving the way here. Coating via roll-to-roll processes allows high processing speeds and production efficiency to be achieved. Up until now, films with the highest barriers have been produced exclusively in vacuum processes. The new ALD plant at the Fraunhofer IVV enables the barrier properties of films to be significantly improved. This is a further step towards meeting the permeability requirements for OLED encapsulation in the medium term. The Fraunhofer IVV is using this technology for publicly funded R&D projects and to provide industry with customized solutions and research services for the development of processes and materials. 

Press release: LINK

Background: Fraunhofer IVV develops ultra barrier films using atomic layer deposition

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Ultrathin protective ALD layer brings more stability to perovskite solar cell

TU Eindhoven reports: The addition of a few nanometers of a thin layer of aluminum oxide protects a perovskite solar cell against humidity – still a major stumbling block to the commercial application of this new type of solar cell. A surprising bonus is a yield boost of 3 percent. These are the findings of researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology and research institute ECN, part of the Solliance collective, published today in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.

Solar cells made from perovskite have undergone rapid development in recent years. Perovskite is a mineral that has the same crystal structure as calcium-titanium-oxide (CaTiO3). The yield of this type of solar cell has risen to 22% in just a few years. A drawback for the moment, though, is the damaging effect of humidity: water vapor from the atmosphere reacts with the perovskite crystals causing a considerable reduction in the yield over time. This instability is a stumbling block to successful commercialization.
“Although Al2O3 has electrically insulating properties, it can still be used as a buffer layer between the semi-conductive perovskite and the conductive contacts by limiting the thickness of the layer to one nanometer or less,” says FOM PhD student and first author Dibyashree Koushik (TU/e group Plasma and Materials Processing). 

Full story at TU Eindhoven : LINK

High-Efficiency Humidity-Stable Planar Perovskite Solar Cells Based On Atomic Layer Architecture

D. Koushik, W.J.H. Verhees, Y. Kuang, S. Veenstra, D. Zhang, M.A. Verheijen, M. Creatore, and R.E.I. Schropp, Energy and Environmental Science (5 december 2016). The study was co-funded by the FOM Foundation

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Tuning mechanical properties of ATO nanolaminates by ALD

ALD nanolaminates were first introduced in high volume manufacturing in Finland for TFEL-displays. Today even a see through version display is produced by Beneq (Lumineq). Nanolaminates have also found applications in optics by combining materials with a high difference in refractive index to tune optical properties. Also any ALD manufactured devices in the semiconductor industry can be regarded as an ALD nanolaminates like for instance the MIM stack in the DRAM capacitor cell for 90 nm and below or the HKMG stack used for transistors starting at 45 nm.

Since then, ALD nanolaminate barriers have also become technologically very important for highly flexible OLED (light-emitting diode) displays expected to go in production during 2017 for e.g. smart phone displays. Rumors in the industry say that both Samsung Electronics, LG Display and Chinese manufacturers are adopting ALD barrier production technology and that possible one of the next Iphones will have ALD barrier technology.

One of the mostly reported ALD barrier stacks consists of a repetition of a Al2O3/TiO2 bi-layer stack so called ATO nanolaminates or multilayers. These are employed to encapsulate the OLED from gas and water penetration otherwise killing the device. The key is to reduce the thickness drastically as compared to PVD or CVD barriers and thereby gaining flexibility while keeping the barrier properties for gas and water diffusion and therefore most importantly the barriers must also be pinhole free. Any pinhole will kill the diode and lead to a pixel failure. I´ve been told that a typical acceptance level for pixel failure for tablet sized displays is three (3!).

(Color online) Residual stress of the ATO nanolaminate as a function of the (a) ALD temperature, and (b) bilayer thickness. The error bars present the maximum measurement uncertainty as explained in Sec. II. © 2016 American Vacuum Society. Reproduced from J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 35, 01B105 (2017);, with the permission of AIP Publishing and corresponding Author Oili M. E. Ylivaara
Until today there are not too many published reports available on residual stress, adhesion and mechanical properties in ATO nanolaminates published. Please find below the link to the Open Source publication from researchers at VTT, University of Jyväskylä and Aalto University in Finland, systematically investigating those properties as dependence from bi-layer thickness and ALD process temperature as shown above and much more. Even though the focus in this study is not on barrier properties I think there is a lot to learn here for the OLED community, especially since you operate under relatively low process temperature conditions (<100C) you must have a lot of residual stress in those flexible barriers.

Besides this report, you can also find an earlier very nice poster from Riikka Puurunen here that focuses on tuning the electrical properties of ATO nanolaminates. All this work were performed in a Picosun SUNALE(TM) R-150 reactor.

Aluminum oxide/titanium dioxide nanolaminates grown by atomic layer deposition: Growth and mechanical properties

Oili M. E. Ylivaara, Lauri Kilpi, Xuwen Liu, Sakari Sintonen, Saima Ali, Mikko Laitinen, Jaakko Julin, Eero Haimi, Timo Sajavaara, Harri Lipsanen, Simo-Pekka Hannula, Helena Ronkainen and Riikka L. Puurunen
J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 35, 01B105 (2017);

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Beneq offer Smartphone OLED encapsulation with ultrafast spatial ALD

Here is a follow up on the recent media reports in the induistry that we will soon see ALD encapsulated OLED smartphone screeens by Apple and Samsung.


BENEQ: Ultimate OLED encapsulation with ultrafast spatial ALD

When the consumer electronics industry moves towards flexible solutions, encapsulation of flexible OLED displays against moisture permeation is one of the most difficult challenges. Totally conformal and pinhole-free ALD barrier films are ideal for ensuring a long lifetime for flexible OLEDs. They provide better barriers than traditional thick CVD solutions and much thinner coatings than the complex multi-layer PECVD barrier film alternatives.

But the coating quality of ALD thin films has actually never been the point of concern – the high encapsulation performance is widely accepted. The question in the consumer electronics business has been whether ALD can be productive enough. What has now changed?

The advances in low temperature plasma ALD processing and spatial ALD as a means to increase the equipment productivity have transformed ALD-based barrier coatings from a research topic to a viable encapsulation alternative in mass production. The high capacity of the latest spatial ALD solutions has brought the cost of ownership of ALD to acceptable levels also for consumer electronics applications.
Please check ot BENEQ Blog for the complete story here:

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Encapsulix SAS Introduces InfinityTM 200 Atomic Layer Deposition System

SIMIANE-COLLONGUE, France – July 26, 2016 – Encapsulix SAS today introduced its InfinityTM 200 Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) system product line optimized for deposition onto 200 mm substrates in a manufacturing or R&D environment. The line’s advanced features for nano-engineered materials include a special focus on low temperature, thin-film encapsulation for flexible organic electronics, in particular organic light-emitting diodes (OLED).

The new 200 ALD line incorporates Encapsulix’s proprietary Parallel Precursor Wave (PPW) technology, which deposits atomic-level coatings with unmatched precision and throughput. The system has been successfully installed and qualified for ultrafast OLED encapsulation at Leti, the CEA Tech research institute in Grenoble, France. Additional systems will be delivered in the next 12 months to customers in Asia.

“We are pleased to strengthen our product offering to the OLED industry with this product family. The strategic partnership with Leti, and the successful application of our technology in the most demanding OLED encapsulation applications, confirm our position as the industry leader in ALD for OLED encapsulation,” said Dr. Jacques Kools, founder and CEO of Encapsulix SAS. “Our high-speed ALD thin-film encapsulation technology proves to be a key enabler in the flexible electronics revolution”.

Introduction to Encapsulix introduction, Dr. Jacques Kools, founder and CEO of Encapsulix SAS (Youtube).

“Since its launch in 2011, Encapsulix has continuously improved the performance of high-throughput atomic layer deposition equipment and processes,” said Dr. Tony Maindron, OLED senior scientist and project leader at Leti. “This new, ultrafast InfinityTM 200 system will strengthen Leti’s OLED development projects for next- generation wearable devices and other uses.”

The Infinity ALD equipment platform was developed by Encapsulix to address the microelectronic industry’s need for geometrically scaled nano-engineered coatings. These coatings range from 10-100 nm in thickness, and often are comprised of sublayers with nanometer thickness. The Infinity series provides the unique ability to transfer the process from R&D on 200 mm (resp. generation 2.5) in Infinity 200 (resp. Infinity 500) systems to manufacturing on generation 4.5 and generation 6 substrate sizes in Infinity 750 and Infinity 1000 tools. These capabilities provide a reliable route for quickly ramping the most advanced thin-film encapsulation solutions for flexible AMOLED.

About Encapsulix
Encapsulix was founded to address the geometric scaling of critical deposition requirements for industrial & microelectronic devices and foils. Initial process focus is in Al2O3 and TiO2 specifically for barrier coatings. The company has its development and headquarters in Simiane-Collongue France, equipment development, sales and service in the USA.

For more information:
Europe : Jacques Kools

Monday, March 28, 2016

NCD, a fast growing Korean ALD Equipment manufacturer for High Volume manufactuiring

As announced some weeks ago I am happy to have NCD as sponsor for the BALD Engineering ALD News blog. Here a review of the company and its fantastic ALD products follows and you should check the recently updated web page ( NCD Co., Ltd. from Daejeon in Korea is a young and growing company founded in 2010 and is specialized in ALD original equipment manufacturing, which has been covered here on the ALD blog previously (here).

NCD is focusing on equipment development, process development, coating services, and process consulting for advanced ALD technologies for four business areas:

1. Solar
2. Display
3. Semiconductor
4. R&D

NCD has already had quite some successful years in entering the ALD equipment market and has built a very impressive customer base in Asia with main focus on the Korean domestic market, Japan, China and Taiwan.

As you may know, one of disadvantages of ALD is slow growth rate at typically an Å / cycle or so, that is to say ALD has a low throughput. In order to solve this problem, NCD has applied for patents for the high-throughput, high-volume and large-area every year. Based on these patents, NCD have developed their high-volume and large-area ALD system.

Here follows an overview of the ALD technology and equipment offering by NCD

1) High-volume ALD
   - GS ALD : surface passivation for c-Si solar cell                                                                         
   - MC ALD : dielectric for capacitor and encapsulation for micro display (OLED)

2) Large-area ALD
   - TS ALD : buffer layer for CIGS solar cell
   - GD ALD : encapsulation for OLED
LucidaTM GS1200 ALD with automation system

NCD has paved the way for high volume manufacturing by a range of ALD systems (see above). Worth highlighting here is especially the Lucida™ GS1200 ALD system applied for high efficiency solar cells at both Hyundai Heavy Industries and LG Electronics etc. The GS series from NCD can realize Passivation for c-Si solar cell at an impressive through put of >3400 wph @ 10nm-Al2O3.

For the large area CIGS thin film soar and OLED display market, NCD has developed two main platforms - the TS and the GD series respectively. ALD chamber clustering is an approach used by many rather than large stand-alone batch tools. 
LucidaTM GD600 ALD in R&D Lab.

Lucida™ GD series already had been applied to R&D centers of Korean and other customers, and showed the excellent performance for thin film encapsulation (TFE) and barrier applications. NCD is currently possible to run customer demoes with the large size of panel (1500mm x 1800) for using LucidaTM GD600 in the demo room (see above). NCD is the only place to do superior ALD demoes with that size panel.

It will be very exciting to follow NCD the next years when the ALD market continues its growth in many high-volume and large-area ALD applications.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Fraunhofer IVV develops ultra barrier films using atomic layer deposition

According to a press release March 07, 2016 : The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV will present its latest work on the manufacture of ultra barrier films for the flexible encapsulation of Organic Electronics (OEs) at the international LOPEC fair in Munich on 6-7 April 2016 (Hall B0, Stand 100). A plant for coating films by atomic layer deposition is currently being constructed at the institute. This will allow the Fraunhofer IVV to further reduce the permeability of films and offer new film products to industry.

Minimizing the permeability to water vapor and oxygen is the key to further successful optimization of high barrier films. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is paving the way for this. This technology is suitable for roll-to-roll processes, so allowing high production efficiency. Furthermore the processing speed is similar to that of the vacuum processes currently used to manufacture the highest barrier films.

This new technology at the Fraunhofer IVV will be used for publicly funded R&D projects aimed at providing industry with customized solutions and R&D services in the area of process and material development.

The new atomic layer deposition technology coupled with the existing expertise of the Fraunhofer IVV in the area of high barrier films means that there are very promising opportunities for significantly improving the barrier properties of films and in the medium term meeting the barrier requirements for OLED encapsulation.

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.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Picosun is bringing ALD technology to Outer Space

Spaceworthy encapsulants from Picosun

Picosun Oy, leading supplier of highest quality Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) thin film coating solutions for industrial manufacturing, successfully applies ALD technology to protect sensitive electronic components against harsh environmental conditions.

ALD oxide nanolaminates developed by Picosun have been proven to efficiently protect printed circuit board (PCB) components from aging effects such as corrosion and tin whisker formation. Corrosion typically occurs on the interface between the board and the component. Gaps in the solder tin covering the sharp edges of the component’s conducting pins may leave them vulnerable against environmental factors such as humidity, liquid and gaseous impurities. This is particularly detrimental in several high end applications where unfaltering component performance is required, such as in aerospace electronics. ALD forms ultra-thin, hermetic, inert, flexible, and protective film over the whole board, isolating even the most sensitive points from the ambient conditions. Due to the nanometer-scale thickness, the ALD film has negligible impact on the PCB functionality.

“Production-scale processing of PCBs requires production-optimized ALD technology. Picosun has unmatched and the most comprehensive expertise in providing large scale ALD solutions to various industries, not only to semiconductor and IC manufacturing but also for protection of 3D items – coins, watch and jewelry parts, and medical implants being just a few examples. Expanding our business to PCB encapsulation is yet another example of ALD’s penetration throughout the spectrum of today’s industrial manufacturing”, states Juhana Kostamo, Managing Director of Picosun. 

The Picosun-ESA contract is a part of an activity funded by the ESA programmes European Component Initiative Phase 4 and Strategic Initiative. Disclaimer: The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Report on flexible barriers including ALD Technologies and reviewing three ALD companies

Here is a new report on flexible barriers including ALD Technologies and reviewing three ALD companies:
  • Lotus - Spatial ALD
  • Beneq - Batch ALD
  • Encapsulix - Fast ALD

Barrier Layers for Flexible Electronics 2016-2026: Technologies, Markets, Forecasts Encapsulation films, in-line deposition, ALD and flexible glass

Barrier layer market forecasts in US$ million

"A large opportunity lies in the development of devices in a flexible form factor that can operate without deterioration in performance, allowing them to be more robust, lightweight and versatile in their use. In order for flexible displays and photovoltaics to be commercially successful, they must be robust enough to survive for the necessary time and conditions required of the device. This condition has been a limitation of many flexible, organic or printable electronics. This highlights the fact that beyond flexibility, printability and functionality, one of the most important requirements is encapsulation as many of the materials used in printed or organic electronic displays are chemically sensitive, and will react with many environmental components such as oxygen and moisture. These materials can be protected using substrates and barriers such as glass and metal, but this results in a rigid device and does not satisfy the applications demanding flexible devices. Plastic substrates and transparent flexible encapsulation barriers can be used, but these offer little protection to oxygen and water, resulting in the devices rapidly degrading. In order to achieve device lifetimes of tens of thousands of hours, water vapor transmission rates (WVTR) must be 10-6 g/m2/day, and oxygen transmission rates (OTR) must be < 10-3 cm3/m2/day. For Organic Photovoltaics, the required WVTR is not as stringent as OLEDs require but is still very high at a level of 10-5 g/m2/day. These transmission rates are several orders of magnitude smaller than what is possible using any conventional plastic substrate, and they can also be several orders of magnitude smaller than what can be measured using common equipment designed for this purpose."

Barrier layer market forecasts in US$ million

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

3M licensing agreement with Lotus Applied Technology TransFlexALDTM spatial ALD

As reported today : 3M has entered into a licensing agreement with Lotus Applied Technology to access Lotus’s TransFlexALDTM spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and barrier materials patent portfolio. TransFlexALD technology enables high-speed, low-cost deposition of single layer “ultra-barrier” coatings on rolls of polymer film using ALD. These coatings play a critical role in the encapsulation of moisture- and oxygen-sensitive electronics, such as OLED (organic light emitting device) lighting and displays, quantum dot films, photovoltaics, and flexible electronics.

“We are pleased to partner with Lotus AT and for the potential of their ALD technology to expand our ultra barrier film solutions portfolio as we integrate it with 3M’s proven technology strengths,” said John Banovetz, vice president of 3M’s Corporate Research Laboratory. “This licensing agreement and our continued product innovation will help 3M increase the performance of our ultra barrier films and offer cost-effective barrier solutions that will allow our customers to provide more competitive products in the flexible electronics markets they serve.”

3M is a leading manufacturer of flexible, transparent ultra barrier films providing encapsulation solutions for display (3M™ Flexible Transparent Barrier Film) and other sensitive electronic applications.

“We are excited to partner with 3M, a distinguished technology leader in the field of ultra barrier films,” said Eric Dickey, president of Lotus Applied Technology. “This technology offers the opportunity to radically improve the performance of single-layer barrier coatings, and 3M’s experience and expertise in this field will enable its rapid deployment in a field of applications that have been demanding higher performance at lower cost.”

( Founded in 2007, Lotus Applied Technology was formed through a spinoff of the thin film process group within Planar Systems, Inc., a pioneer in Atomic Layer Deposition technology and manufacturing. Housed in a fully dedicated 20,000 square foot thin film processing and R&D facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, our team of technologists has been working together for over 20 years, developing innovative solutions to thin film processing challenges. Our equipment set includes a wide array of thin film deposition, lithography, and patterning equipment, including a versatile set of ALD equipment:

  • Six P400 Conventional Pulse-Based Batch ALD reactors
  • Roll to Roll ALD Research Scale Reactor
  • TransFlex Roll to Roll ALD Pilot Scale Reactor
  • Vortex Rotary Batch Reactor

Friday, September 25, 2015

Low temperature PEALD of SiN moisture permeation barrier layers from TU Eindhoven

This is really interesting! SiN is the fastest growing ALD film application in leading edge CMOS - for CVD it is I guess the opposite trend ;-) (originally posted by

Low temperature plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition of silicon nitride moisture permeation barrier layers

Anne-Marije Andringa, Alberto Perrotta, Koen de Peuter, Harm C.M. Knoops, Wilhelmus M.M Kessels, and Mariadriana Creatore
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, Just Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b06801
Publication Date (Web): September 22, 2015

Encapsulation of organic (opto-)electronic devices, such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), photovoltaic cells and field-effect transistors, is required to minimize device degradation induced by moisture and oxygen ingress. SiNx moisture permeation barriers have been fabricated using a very recently developed low temperature plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition (ALD), consisting of half-reactions of the substrate with the precursor SiH2(NHtBu)2 and with a N2-fed plasma. The deposited films have been characterized in terms of refractive index and chemical composition by spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), respectively. The SiNx thin film refractive index ranges from 1.80 to 1.90 for films deposited at 80 °C up to 200 °C, respectively, and the C, O and H impurity levels decrease when increasing the deposition temperature. The relative open porosity content of the layers has been studied by means of multi-solvent ellipsometric porosimetry (EP), adopting three solvents with different kinetic diameter: water (~ 0.3 nm), ethanol (~ 0.4 nm) and toluene (~ 0.6 nm). Irrespective of deposition temperature and hence impurity content in the SiNx films, no uptake of any adsorptive has been observed, pointing out the absence of open pores larger than 0.3 nm in diameter. Instead, multilayer development has been observed, leading to type II isotherms which, according to the IUPAC classification, are characteristic of non-porous layers. The calcium test has been performed in a climate chamber at 20 °C and 50% relative humidity to determine the intrinsic water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) of SiNx barriers deposited at 120 °C. Intrinsic WVTR values in the range of 10-6 g/m2/day indicate excellent barrier properties for ALD SiNx layers as thin as 10 nm, competing with the state-of-the-art plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposited SiNx layers of a few hundreds nanometers- thick.