Flexible Glass

Fraunhofer FEP – Competence Center for Thin Glass Processing

Material Flexible Glass

Ultra-thin glass has excellent surface properties as well as low substrate roughness. The properties of this new material make it ideal as a substrate for a range of future applications in flexible electronics. It paves the way for the development of thin, lightweight, robust, curved and bendable components. With a similar bending capability to other web materials, ultra-thin glass features dimensional and thermal stability as well as chemical resistance. Ultra-thin glass is thus a perfect substrate for cost-effective roll-to-roll deposition of high-quality functional layers and layered materials.

New era for glass substrates

In the innovation roadmaps of the Organic Electronic Assiciation (OE-A) as well as in the traditional semiconductor industry, ultra-thin glass has already been anchored and identified as a key element for several years.

Flexible and organic electronics in particular will rely on smart solutions with ultra-thin glass substrates in the future. Instead of silicon, organic semiconductors are being used, and instead of cost-intensive processing in a vacuum, printing processes are being further developed. This could result in the high-end products of tomorrow. Scratch-resistant surfaces, conductive layers, reliable barriers for organic components, cost-effective processes and suitable equipment concepts – we are working on these issues together with industry and in public projects.

Fraunhofer FEP – Competence Center for Thin Glass Processing

The development of thin-film coating processes for ultra-thin glass and its integration into organic and hybrid electronics are current research priorities at our institute. From feasibility studies to the development of precisely fitting ultra-thin films, related processes to licensing or knowledge transfer, we are at your disposal with our know-how.

Fraunhofer FEP offers investigations of sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll deposition processes to enable the application of ultra-thin glass in high-tech devices.

On the following pages you will learn more about our current research results and focus areas.

Technology

The development of thin film deposition processes for ultra-thin glass and its integration into organic and hybrid electronics are current research topics at our institute.

Fraunhofer FEP offers investigations of sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll deposition processes to enable the application of ultra-thin glass in high-tech devices.

A wide variety of inorganic layers are deposited using sputtering technology. Examples include aluminum, silicon, silver, silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide and indium tin oxide. The properties of the layers, for example electrical conductivity or optical properties such as transmittance and reflectance, can be specifically adjusted in the process.

In addition, we are working on the deposition of homogeneous layers based on complex layer stacks, e.g. edge filters, anti-reflective coatings, transparent electrodes for organic light-emitting diodes or perovskite solar cells.

We have extensive know-how to adapt the processes to the desired target properties of the respective application. The focus is on optical and electrical properties as well as the coating voltage. The electrical and optical properties of the surface can already be measured during the coating process. Many methods are available for further analysis. Common methods for thin film characterization are atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Special methods for the mechanical characterization of thin films are also used.

Research Services

We offer the development of reliable processes for ultra-thin glass deposition, as well as the integration of ultra-thin glass for applications in novel flexible (organic) electronic devices.

Our thin film deposition equipment is summarized in the following overview.

 

 
EQUIPMENT
SUBSTRATE SIZE
GLASS THICKNESS
LAYER TYPE
SHEET‑TO‑SHEET (S2S) PROCESSING
In-line coating equipment ILA 900 max. 600 × 600 mm² 50 μm ... 200 μm Anorganic thin films
  OLED pilot line max. 200 × 200 mm² 50 μm ... 100 μm Organic thin films
ROLL-TO-ROLL (R2R) PROCESSING
FOSA LabX 300
(in Cooperation with
VON ARDENNE GmbH)
max. 300 mm width 50 μm ... 100 μm Anorganic thin films
  OLED line max. 300 mm width 50 μm ... 100 μm 50 μm ... 100 μm

Projects and News

In a large number of projects with industrial partners and public funding agencies, we have continuously expanded our know-how and developed solutions for innovative coating technologies and processes. The following is a selection of current and pioneering activities in the field of flexible glass research at Fraunhofer FEP:

News

 

20.9.2021

pro flex 2021

Focus 2021:

Roll to Product: What is coming?

 

Whitepaper

This article shows that gap-free, laser-based cutting processes using ultra-short pulse lasers can be applied well to ultra-thin glass applications



Press releases

 

KONFEKT

Within the framework of this project, Fraunhofer FEP is developing new applications for ultra-thin and rollable glass in collaboration with cooperation partners.

 

 

Glass4Flex

The Glass4Flex joint project ensures a completely coordinated process chain from the manufacturer to functionalization in the production of ultra-thin glass.

 

KODOS

A consortium of nine industrial and research partners has joined forces within the KODOS project to integrate the innovative material thin glass into finished products along the entire value chain.

Projects

 

Switch2Save

Lightweight switchable smart solutions for energy saving large windows and glass facades

 

LAOLA

The goal of the LAOLA project is to develop large-area lighting applications using organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) on flexible substrates.

 

CeGlaFlex

Process chain for shape-flexible ceramic and glass-based switching and display elements

 

 

CUSTOM

Investigation of the material behavior of ultra-thin flexible glass in layered composites

 

KONFEKT

Within the framework of this project, Fraunhofer FEP is developing new applications for ultra-thin and rollable glass in collaboration with cooperation partners.

 

 

KODOS

A consortium of nine industrial and research partners has joined forces within the KODOS project to integrate the innovative material thin glass into finished products along the entire value chain.

 

 

Glass4Flex

The Glass4Flex joint project ensures a completely coordinated process chain from the manufacturer to functionalization in the production of ultra-thin glass.

Other

 

4.11.2019

pro flex 2019

Focus 2019:

Technology Cross-Over

 

4.4.2017

VISION | FLEXIBLE GLASS

VISION | FLEXIBLE GLASS is an international technology and networking event that focuses on research and development for ultra-thin flexible glass in both sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll processes at the Fraunhofer FEP

 

Fraunhofer FEP awarded as „Innovator of the Year“

Matthias Fahland

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Matthias Fahland

Deputy Division Director: Plasma Technology, Head of Department: R2R Technologies

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden, Germany

Phone +49 351 2586-135

Fax +49 351 258655-135

Wiebke Langgemach

Contact Press / Media

Wiebke Langgemach

S2S Sputtering and PECVD; Thin glass coating and processing

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstraße 28
01277 Dresden

Phone +49 351 2586-119