Roll-to-roll cleaning and activation of ultra-thin flexible glass using atmospheric-pressure plasma in ambient air
|Year of publication
|Article in Proceedings
|13th International Conference on Nanomaterials - Research and Application, NANOCON 2021
|MU Faculty or unit
|flexible glass; roll-to-roll; cleaning; plasma activation; DCSBD; industrial corona
|Flexible electronics are nowadays manufactured on substrates made particularly of plastics and paper. In demand for better optical and chemical properties, glass is also used in its ultra-thin flexible form (UTFG). Digital ink-jet printing is an attractive method for deposition of conductive precursors on flexible substrates, mainly due to its ability to be incorporated into roll-to-roll systems for massive production. Plasma cleaning and activation is proposed here as a dry, efficient, and controllable method for pre-treatment of glass substrate before deposition of conductive inks. Tested plasma sources were chosen with respect to the specific thermomechanical properties of UTFG and requirements of large area printing on flexible substrates. Both diffuse coplanar surface barrier discharge (DCSBD) and industrial corona achieved a significant wetting improvement of UTFG, which results from modification of properties governed by surface nanolayer. Water contact angle (WCA) measurement and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed strong activation of UTFG surface due to incorporation of oxygen-based polar groups. The ageing of plasma-treated glass, monitored for one week, showed better stability of the DCSBD plasma-treated UTFG surface. We observed the WCA recovery from 7 % to 38 % in respect to the initial value measured on the untreated UTFG (68°). The impact of plasma on the morphology of the glass surface was analysed using atomic force microscopy.