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Development of an automated thin film deposition equipment based on blade coating

Grant number: 19/23019-5
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: September 01, 2020 - May 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Viviane Nogueira Hamanaka
Grantee:Viviane Nogueira Hamanaka
Host Company:Autocoat Equipamentos e Processos de Deposição Ltda
CNAE: Fabricação de equipamentos e aparelhos elétricos não especificados anteriormente
Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: Campinas
Pesquisadores principais:
Marcos Henrique Mamoru Otsuka Hamanaka
Associated researchers:Fernando Josepetti Fonseca ; Remco Jonathan van Dasselaar ; Wellington de Oliveira Avelino
Associated scholarship(s):20/11152-0 - Development of an automated equipment for thin film deposition based on blade coating method, BP.PIPE


Thin films of organic semiconductor materials such as conjugated polymers and small molecules have been widely investigated for application in organic electronic devices such as organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), organic solar cells (OSCs) and organic thin film transistors (OTFTs). One of the great advantages of these materials is the possibility of deposition through solution coating methods with potential low cost and high yield due to the use of simple equipments that does not require high vacuum, the possibility of processing at low temperatures and the potential scaling up for large-scale production or roll-to-roll (R2R) process compatibility. Low temperature processing enables flexible devices in which the organic semiconductor materials are deposited on plastic substrates.Blade coating is a very simple solution coating method for organic semiconductors materials. It is part of a group of coating methods named meniscus-guided coating (MGC). The term "meniscus-guided" refers to the fact that a meniscus is translated across a substrate by virtue of a blade (or coating head), in effect guiding and controlling film deposition. Due to the intrinsic directionality of MGC methods, they can confer molecular alignment to organic semiconductor films and are also highly scalable for continuous R2R deposition processes. In addition, the blade coating method has other advantages such as low cost due to the use of simple equipment and low material waste, the possibility of creating patterns, the deposition of multiple layers of materials in solution with similar solvents without the need of any approach to avoid the dissolution of successive layers and the possibility of obtain large area and flexible devices.In addition to the deposition of solution organic semiconductor materials there are several other potential applications for the blade coating method such as the deposition of organic-inorganic halide perovskite thin films, carbon nanotube and graphene thin films, polymer composites films for optical and electronic applications and, oxide films for battery electrode applications and water photo-catalysis (hydrogen production).Thus, the main goal of this proposal is to develop an automated blade coating thin film deposition equipment. The equipment should operate in a wide speed range allowing the deposition of materials that requires morphology control (low speeds) and the deposition of materials that can be deposited at higher speeds. In addition, the use of two heating sources should result in the optimization of film uniformity over large areas and enable the deposition of multiple layers of materials in solution using similar solvents.The development of the equipment and its future production and commercialization will allow the national development of very promising electronic device technologies which are still at an early stage of research, such as perovskite thin films for solar cells and light emitting diodes applications, thus inserting Brazil at the forefront of these technologies. In addition, since there is no commercially available blade coating equipment with the features proposed here, there is great potential for reaching the international market. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa para Inovação FAPESP about research grant:
Startup achieves success with machine that produces thin films from soluble materials with many applications 
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
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