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Cluster FLEET drives encapsulation tech into market

Posted: 06 Mar 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flexible? cluster fleet? encapsulation?

Cluster FLEET has successfully encapsulated flexible OLED devices using self-adhesive barrier films in a roll-to-roll process. Its demonstration is seen to have brought flexible electronics a step closer towards commercialisation.

As a flexible electronics initiative of the Fraunhofer Society, cluster FLEET taps into the expertise of three Fraunhofer institutions (FEB, IWS, COMEDD), the IAAP of Technical University of Dresden, and SEMPA Systems. The cluster is aimed at accelerating the development of encapsulation technologies, making them ready for the industrial and serial production by cooperation across the value chain with one location concentration.

High-quality functional films are required in reasonable quantities for the industrial manufacturing of flexible electronic devices. Flexible solar cells based on inorganic or organic semiconductors and flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) provide new possibilities for the integration of photovoltaic or intelligent lighting in buildings and commodity items. Even flexible displays or innovative packaging concepts for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products are on their way to commercialisation. All these products have one thing in common: The active layers have to be protected from humidity and oxygen in order to guarantee a reliable functionality over the product lifetime.

The encapsulation technologies for these flexible electronic devices are mostly still in the research or pilot stage but cluster FLEET aims to help convert the technologies into a commercial reality.

"Due to their long-lasting project and research activities, the institutes were able to gain a unique portfolio of know-how, which they can offer consolidated and in close cooperation with the industry and research partners," explained Dr. Christian May of Fraunhofer COMEDD and speaker of the cluster.

Members of the cluster FLEET benefit from their close proximity and state-of-the-art equipment and maintain an intensive scientific exchange in order to provide services at the highest level. Being part of a comprehensive network in the field of the flexible electronic, the members of the cluster collaborate with scientists all-over the world on future technologies.

The competences of the cluster comprise the development and pilot phase of encapsulation products and technologies, the testing of materials and the manufacturing and encapsulation of organic devices including thin film direct encapsulation on glass or flexible substrates.

The cluster represents the complete process chain of the manufacturing of organic electronic and functional films including prototypes and small-series production.

The cluster will present its work to an international audience at the conference ICCG 10 from 22nd until 26th June 2014, in Dresden.

- Paul Buckley
??EE Times Europe

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