April 18, 2011 — Henkel, an adhesives, sealants and surface treatments provider, and Holst Centre, an open-innovation initiative by imec and TNO, partnered in flexible electronics development. Henkel will contribute an adhesives knowledge base to the Holst Centre’s shared research programs on large-area flexible organic photovoltaics (OPV), organic light emitting diode (OLED) lighting and signage, and other areas.
Adhesives with functional properties like electrical conductivity or moisture barrier protection have great potential in future electronics applications, such as heterogeneous integration of silicon and plastic electronics or lamination and interconnection of functional foils to form working devices such as flexible solar cells (OPV), OLED lighting devices, or flexible displays. Henkel plans to bring many of its technologies to these applications, drawing on expertise in electronics adhesives, pressure sensitive adhesives, and more.
Within its program on "Integration technologies for flexible systems," Holst Centre built a track record of generic technologies that can decrease the design complexity of flexible electronic devices and therefore the future cost of fabrication. Henkel adds a new field of expertise to the existing eco-system of industrial partners in the shared research program. Adhesives can potentially impact a large number of the investigated processes.
The partnership allows Henkel to further evaluate and develop its optically clear, electrically conductive and moisture barrier technologies, among others, on actual devices, beyond isolated material samples. This makes it more efficient to assess the market readiness of new developments. "This partnership brings for Henkel a great opportunity to evaluate adhesives in real (organic) electronic devices, allows us to create and test new adhesive concepts with technical experts in flexible electronics and key future end-users," said Thomas Kostka, R&D Manager at Henkel, adding that they expect to bring innovative fit-for-use technologies significantly faster to the market.
Holst Centre is an independent open-innovation R&D centre that develops generic technologies for Wireless Autonomous Sensor Technologies and for Flexible Electronics.