Have you ever wondered how flexible electronics and solar panels are made? One of the most common, but also one of the most high-tech coating processes is called “roll-to-roll coating” (R2R), and it’s the go-to production method for a large number of materials and products.
Roll-to-roll (R2R) film coating machines can coat all materials that are flexible and are often made out of polymers or various metals. These materials get coated in order to modify their properties or protect them against wear and/or ambient conditions. The applications are endless. Here are just a few examples of rolled materials that are coated through the use of vacuum:
Display technology and photovoltaics
Components of accumulators, batteries and super capacitors
Wearable and bendable electronics with flexible elements, such as organic displays, sensors and housings
Rolled polymer materials for various packaging solutions used in the food and pharmaceutical industries
Flexible solar panels
Even textiles undergo roll-to-roll coating for special purposes
Vacuum systems for PVD, PECVD and thermal evaporation
There are three roll-to-roll coating processes which require vacuum: physical vapor deposition (PVD), plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and thermal evaporation, all of which need vacuum conditions in the pressure range of 10-1 to 10-3 mbar.
These coating applications are demanding and provide specific challenges to the vacuum pumps, including:
Fast chamber evacuation in order to save valuable processing time
High gas throughput
Depending on your end-product, oil and dust-free vacuum in order to achieve the highest product quality
Optimized operational costs (TCO)
Precise process control
At Leybold, we have a long track record of supplying vacuum solutions for roll-to-roll coating applications and have gathered all this expertise in order to offer vacuum pump technology which meets all vacuum requiremenets for these types of applications.