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Green plasma process technology for manufacturing of flexible electronics (Life_Green_plasma)
Date du début: 1 juil. 2013, Date de fin: 31 déc. 2016 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

Background Increasing resource efficiency will be key to securing growth and jobs for Europe. It will bring major economic opportunities, improve productivity, drive down costs and boost competitiveness. The market for flexible electronic products is predicted to grow sharply. The manufacturing industry currently uses vacuum plasma deposition systems (vacuum PE-CVD) which precursor-to-product ratio efficiencies of 20% at best. At least 80% of the raw materials leave the reaction chamber as exhaust or are deposited on reactor system components. As a consequence, the raw material waste stream of highly toxic precursor chemicals (aluminium oxide silane) is predicted to reach 12 000 tonnes by 2021. Moreover, the vacuum plasma process requires pumping systems and regular cleaning procedures to remove the depositions from reactor system components. Both aspects reduce the efficiency of vacuum PE-CVD in comparison with the new technology APG-CVD: atmospheric pressure glow plasma for chemical vapour deposition. Objectives The main objective of this project is to demonstrate a new environmental-friendly process technology for manufacturing flexible electronic components. This innovative technology platform has the potential to replace the traditional PE-CVD technology used for the deposition of thin functional coatings with electrical, optical, mechanical and moisture barrier properties. It is expected to lead to a reduction of raw material (precursor) usage and CO2 emissions by more than 90%. The specific project objectives include: Constructing an APG-CVD Process Demonstrator, as a moveable prototype system for on-site demonstrations of APG-CVD plasma process performance. It will demonstrate the quality of the product, robustness and process flexibility, efficiency of raw material use, safety and ease of operation, and the process’s adaptability to specific customer requirements; Demonstrating the listed technical and environmental advantages of the APG-CVD plasma process for European industry active in the field of flexible electronics, through on-site demonstrations and comparison of the APG-CVD plasma process performance with the performance of traditional vacuum plasma systems; Quantifying environmental, technical and economic advantages of APG-CVD plasma technology through demonstration, product analysis and calculations based on specific customer situations; Scaling-up processes to a width of 120 cm in pilot plant process stability trials, leading to a robust process window setting; and Demonstrating large-scale manufacturing opportunities for different functional layer mixtures, varying aluminium oxide thickness (1-200 nm), composition (SiOx, TiOx, ZnO, SnO), porosity and surface hydrophobicity. Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following results: Dissemination of the APG-CVD technology amongst Europe's photovoltaic and flexible electronic applications producers; A Demonstrator System of APG-CVD technology; The scaled-up process running at a pilot plant at a pre-manufacturing scale; Full product analysis benchmarked against thin layer deposited by PECVD; Seven agreements for steps to substitute environmental unfriendly vacuum PE-CVD with APG-CVD, reaching potential seed-customers in Europe to achieve 90% precursor reduction; A reduction in solvents and processing chemicals as APG-CVD uses no water or solvents and minimises waste streams. This leads to reduced emissions and reduced energy use (because of the absence of vacuum pumping systems); and The potential for a reduction of 2 million tonnes/yr tonnes of CO2 emissions in Europe in 2020.


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