L.L. Moro, N.M. Rutherford, X. Chu, R.J. Visser, Vitex Systems, San Jose, California
All electronic and optoelectronic devices require protection from the influences of the environment. A thin-film, transparent, and flexible moisture and gas barrier called Barix can be applied at low temperatures (e.g., <80°C). Although this type of barrier layer can be used in many applications, its attributes make it a key enabling technology for creating plastic flexible substrates and for thin-film encapsulation of new generations of organic-based electronics such as organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, organic solar cells, photovoltaics, and large-area OLED-based lighting.
The OLED application is especially challenging since it requires a coating with very low water vapor permeability (WVTR) of <5x10-6g/m2/day. Currently, displays are being protected by glueing a glass lid — with a cavity filled with desiccant — on the backside of the display, which effectively protects the display against degradation from the environment, but doubles its thickness. The purpose of the thin-film barrier coating is to reduce the thickness and cost of the displays.
Julie MacShane, Managing Editor, SST at email: [email protected]