Control and monitoring of coating processes inline - for the first time
The development of a cost-effective, optical measuring system means that coating processes will in the future be able to be fully controlled and monitored over the entire substrate surface. The inaugural presentation of this new system developed by the Fraunhofer IAP and the Fraunhofer IVV will take place at ICE Europe 2017. The degree of crosslinking and thickness of organic coatings can be controlled inline via automated coupling of the measurement system to the coating unit. This prevents issues such as delamination, poor processing of web-shaped materials, and increased migration of non-crosslinked adhesive components.

Accelerated test methods for high-barrier films
High-barrier laminates manufactured in roll-to-roll processes for the encapsulation of flexible solar cells and electronic components must have as low as possible oxygen and water vapor permeabilities. For quality assurance, it is a challenge to measure the permeability of such films over long periods of time. The tests can take several months. Now, however, the Fraunhofer IVV has developed a device for measuring the permeability of ultra barrier films in combination with associated computer software for simulating the permeation process. This enables the water vapor permeability to be determined 3 to 4 times faster than with conventional methods.

Further improvement of high barrier technology using atomic layer deposition
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.

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