Advancements in the Manufacturing of Roll-to Roll Smart and Innovative Devices by Addressing Production Scalability and Technology Challenges

Advancements in the Manufacturing of Roll-to Roll Smart and Innovative Devices by Addressing Production Scalability and Technology Challenges

Nessima Kaabeche
Emerson & Renwick

Functional coatings are at the heart of the advancements of all emerging, smart innovative technologies (batteries, near field communication devices, holograms, semiconductors etc). With the need of lighter, more flexible and more efficient smart electronic devices comes an imperative for production to be more cost effective. Conventional manufacture involves the production of functional coatings in a batch mode and via static methods which incurs a high consumable, services and space cost. In this context, roll-to-roll production of functional coating appears more suitable for the industry to meet the throughput and cost requirements to remain in the market. Transferring production from batch or static to roll to roll comes, however, with many challenges related web handling and producing many functional coatings in one device. The quality of the final products is also impacted by these variables which should be accounted for in the design of the machine and process flow. The combination of vacuum deposition processes such as PVD, CVD, ALD and RIE is also key to increasing the throughput and can be addressed through a flexible and modular machine design.