Tokyo, Japan--Engineers at Asahi Glass Co. have come up with an easier way to handle the super-thin (0.1 mm) glass that is increasingly being considered for use in flexible displays. The technique uses an adsorption layer to temporarily attach the 0.1-mm-thick sheet to a 0.5-mm-thick sheet of carrier glass, which is much easier to handle during fabrication of devices.
Both Asahi Glass Co. and Corning Inc. (Corning, NY) (NYSE: GLW) have unveiled their own versions of glass with a 0.1 mm thickness, Corning in a version called "Willow Glass." In addition to being the basis of certain flexible displays, such thin glass can also be processed using a "roll-to-roll" manufacturing technique, which handles a roll of the ultra-thin glass substrate in a continuous way.
Asahi's "sheet-to-sheet method" of handling ultrathin glass allows the glass to be handled in existing manufacturing lines, the company says. The carrier glass can be easily removed, and the ultrathin glass substrate combined with the carrier glass does not directly contact manufacturing equipment, preventing the glass substrate from being scratched, notes Asahi Glass in an article by Tech-On. The resulting resistance to heat and chemical treatments used for manufacturing displays is as high as that of a normal glass substrate.
Asahi Glass revealed its 0.1 mm ultrathin glass substrate in 2011, emphasizing its properties such as transparency, thermal resistance, and electric insulation as well as its flexibility realized by the thinness.
A sample of the laminated substrate will be exhibited at the 2012 SID International Symposium, Seminar & Exhibition (SID 2012; June 3 to 8, 2012, Boston, MA).