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Photochemical approach to high-barrier films for the encapsulation of flexible laminary electronic devices

: Prager, L.; Helmstedt, U.; Herrnberger, H.; Kahle, O.; Kita, F.; Münch, M.; Pender, A.; Prager, A.; Gerlach, J.W.; Stasiak, M.


Thin solid films 570 (2014), Part A, pp.87-95
ISSN: 0040-6090
Journal Article
Fraunhofer PYCO ()

Based on results of preceding research and development, thin gas barriers were made by wet application of perhydropolysilazane solution onto polymer films and its subsequent photo-initiated conversion to dense silica layers applying vacuum ultraviolet irradiation. Compared to the state of the art, these layers were sufficiently improved and characterized by spectroscopic methods, by scanning electron microscopy and by gas permeation measurements. Water vapor transmission rates (WVTR) below 10− 2 g m− 2 d− 1 were achieved. In this way, single barrier films were developed and produced on a pilot plant from roll to roll, 250 mm wide, at speeds up to 10 m min− 1. Two films were laminated using adhesives curable with ultraviolet (UV) light and evaluated by peel tests, gas permeation measurement and climate testing. It could be shown that the described high-barrier laminates which exhibit WVTR ≈ 5 × 10− 4 g m− 2 d− 1, determined by the calcium mirror method, are suitable for encapsulation of flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules. Durability of the encapsulated modules could be verified in several climate tests including damp-heat, thermo-cycle (heating, freezing, wetting) and UV exposures which are equivalent to more than 20 years of endurance at outdoor conditions in temperate climate. In the frame of further research and technical development it seems to be possible to design a cost efficient industrial scale process for the production of encapsulation films for photovoltaic applications.