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Hannover Messe: New cost-effective upscaling technique for antireflective foils05.04.2012 - (idw) INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH
Researchers from Saarbruecken developed an upscaling technique for the application of anti-reflective coatings on plastic foils of several meters using a wet-chemical process. It is a cost-effective solution for large-size foils to be fitted with a pre-selected refractive index, and it is particularly suitable for the application on solar panels. From 23 to 27 April 2012, the researchers of INM Leibniz Institute for New Materials present these and other results at the leading trade fair "Research and Technology" in Hall 2 at the stand C54.
Nowadays, plastic foils are a conventional and affordable solution for large glass panels to be furnished with defined properties. Scratch resistance or sun protection are examples, why such foils are used on windows or displays. These foils are particularly advantageous for large glass panels due to their deformability and their easy handling as well as the possibility of simple retrofitting. For foils with a fixed refractive index, techniques which generate high costs, which are only suitable for small areas or which involve a loss of quality have been used so far.
"Our technique offers several advantages", says Peter William de Oliveira, head of the program division Optical Materials. "Depending on the change of the composition of our material, we obtain a refractive index between 1.32 and 1.95. We can meet requirements both for reflection and also for anti-reflection", notes the material expert. But this is not the only advantage. Apart from the material, the upscaling technique has been developed at INM to such an extent that foils with a width of 130 cm and an almost endless length can be coated. In addition, the coating of the foils shows a particularly high quality: "The thickness of a coating of 100 nanometers varies by only 5 nanometers", explains the physicist Oliveira. Such values are indispensable for a reliable anti-reflection.
Depending on the requested refractive index, the researchers use titanium oxide and silicon oxide nanoparticles with a special surface modification. The upscaling technique to the roll-to-roll process was made possible by the specially developed ratio from solvents, crosslinking agents and nanoparticles. Wet-coating allows the new material to be deposited onto the foils via reverse-roll-coating or kiss-coating. It is suitable for conventional polymer foils from polyethylene or polycarbonate, and it can be used for color filter systems in solar panels.
Dr. Peter William de Oliveira
Program Division Optical Materials
INM Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien
Phone: +49 681 9300 148
INM, situated in Saarbruecken/Germany, is an internationally leading research centre for innovative materials. Specialized in the three research fields of Chemical Nanotechnology, Interface Materials and Materials in Biology, the institute provides research and development from molecule to pilot production delivered by a highly skilled team of chemists, physicists, biologists, materials and engineering scientists. It cooperates with national and international institutes and develops materials with tailor-made properties for companies throughout the world. INM is an institute of the Scientific Association Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and employs around 190 collaborators.
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