12/11/2018

Fast, non-contact surface metrology in the manufacturing of large-area electronics

Large-area electronics is a new way of manufacturing electronics using low-temperature processes such as printing and coating. Totally new electronic products including printable, flexible or organic electronics that were impossible until now are being realized: flexible panels or displays, solar cells on foils, medical diagnostic devices in clothing or even for sticking to the skin. OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) can already be found in smartphone lights or displays. The first televisions with OLEDs are on the market, and unbreakable plastic displays have been announced. In the next years, organic electronics will complement silicon-based electronics with many new applications or more ecologically friendly products. As broad as the field of application of large-area electronics are the measuring tasks which have to be solved in their manufacturing.

FRT offers optical surface metrology for a wide range of large-area electronics equally in R&D, production control or quality assurance. With the 3D surface measuring tools of the established MicroProf® series, area measurements as well as single and multiple profiles can be acquired without contact. Automated mapping of the samples as well as automated evaluation and reporting of the measurements is possible. Roughness even on transparent layers can be determined down to the sub-nanometer range and topography measurements of the sample surface can be performed.

The MicroProf® tools also offer the option of double-sided sample inspection. This allows for simultaneous measurement of the top and bottom surfaces of the sample and thus the determination of the sample thickness. Therefore the total thickness variation (TTV) of the sample together with surface parameters such as roughness, flatness and parallelism of both surfaces can be determined.

Especially for large-area electronics we offer the MicroProf® series with a thermo unit. With a fully integrated heating and cooling stage, the sample behavior under working conditions can be determined and various process steps can be simulated.

A further application of FRT tools is the thickness determination of coatings, e.g. transparent insulating and protective layers, in the form of single thin films or layer stacks. Layer thicknesses down to several nanometers can be determined with the vertical resolution being in the sub-nanometer range. With the MicroProf® series, a 100% inspection is possible after each process step. With its high flexibility and universality, which comes from its modular multi-sensor concept, the MicroProf® is ideally suited to perform a wide range of measurement tasks within one metrology tool. The MicroProf® enables you keeping pace with large-area electronics fast progression and with a quick recovering of investment costs.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Our experts will be glad to help you solve your measurement tasks by creating the best possible system configuration for you.