There has been a need for enhanced coating methods in organic electronic manufacturing as foldable phones and other future product iterations need materials that are lighter, more reliable and enable folding and stretching of a device. Thus, the use of thin film encapsulation solutions has become more common in organic electronic manufacturing.
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Atomic layer deposition (ALD) has already proven to be the coating solution of choice for a wide range of applications in the semiconductor industry. Inorganic films, which are the standard output of an ALD process, are however susceptible to crack or develop defects under severe mechanical stress.
This issue is magnified when depositing on large surface areas often required in flexible organic electronics manufacturing. Picosun’s novel approach to address these issues, for which patent rights are pending, includes nanolamination of dense inorganic layers deposited with ALD to maintain excellent barrier performance‚ with organic or hybrid molecular layer deposition (MLD) layers to offer enhanced flexibility and de-emphasize the defects which may appear when films are stressed.
Picosun research on an industrially viable ALD/MLD process was demonstrated on wafers and polymer substrates over 200 mm in diameter with a deposition temperature of 90 °C using Picosun ALD tools. The results showed great thickness uniformity and higher throughput compared to pure ALD film deposition. The MLD film proved to be stable in ambient environment and the complementary strengths of ALD and MLD hindered H2O permeation through the film stack, which enables flexibility in moisture barrier design.
“We are excited to bring these insights to the market as there has been little information available from stable and industrially viable MLD processes in full wafer scale. Besides organic electronics, we see immense potential with the ALD/MLD films in the manufacturing of LEDs, MEMS and medical packaging”, states Juhana Kostamo, VP, Industrial Business Area of Picosun Group.
Watch the Picosun webinar to learn more about the topic and Picosun results:
Towards industrially viable ALD/MLD nanolaminate films for flexible electronics