Equipment maker targets printed electronics

Paul Boughton

A Finnish maker of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) equipment is aiming for flexible, printed PCBs using its technology. Nick Flahert reports

Picosun has developed a roll-to-roll Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) system that would provide thin, durable coating for flexible PCBs.

The demand for continuous ALD processing stems from the fields of flexible, printed electronics, OLED lighting, third generation thin film photovoltaic devices, high energy density thin film batteries, smart textiles, organic sensors, organic/recyclable packaging materials, and flexible displays.

The printed electronics market alone has been estimated to increase four-fold in the next five years alone, and well over 20-fold in the next 15 years. [Page Break]

The key challenge in printed electronics is to find a flexible, reliable, and low-cost encapsulation material to protect the sensitive devices from ambient atmosphere (moisture, gases, impurities) to extend their lifetime and ALD oxides, namely aluminium and titanium oxides have shown excellent performance in this.

“Our product portfolio is famous for its unparalleled versatility and ALD process quality, proven in demanding daily use by production customers on three continents,” said Juhana Kostamo, Managing Director of Picosun. “Every time Picosun has introduced a new product, it has become technically the best solution and also a commercial success. Our novel, revolutionary continuous ALD technology proves this rule once again and is already the most highly requested and welcomed addition to our capabilities as the leading provider of ALD technology,” [Page Break]

It has been working with Uppsala University in Sweden on ALD technology for research into micro- and nanotechnology for health and energy, and have installed a second ALD system for researching new applications such as surface treatment of carbon nanostructures, manufacturing of transition metal and compound semiconductor thin films, and deposition of ultrathin polymer layers on various substrates.

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