Targeted processing method creates new opportunities for the glass industry
The electronics and glass processing industries have traditionally used similar processes. Due to the large substrate sizes in the glass processing industry, considerably big equipment has been necessary. With the increased equipment size, the cost of the equipment has also risen, resulting in the glass being coated mainly by glass manufacturers. Innovative companies have had to develop their solutions around these available coatings. This has partly limited product development as coatings have been available only for a limited range of glass sizes and source materials.
Volframi has developed a partial processing method that allows, e.g., the application of various sputtered coatings to a defined area of glass without the need to coat the entire glass. This restricts the size of the area but allows more complex processes and the use of source materials applied by or in the electronics industry. Since in partial sputtering process only the defined area of glass to be coated is processed, the tool no longer needs to cover the entire glass. As a result, the tool is considerably smaller, which has a direct impact on the operating and purchasing costs of the tool. As the tool cost remains moderate, the process is accessible to companies of all sizes. The small size of the tool also means that the source materials are small, and the consumption of gases and electricity is moderate.
The processing method enables the glass processing industry to produce a completely new range of products integrated into the glass, which the electronics industry has traditionally produced.
Coatings can be made, for example, as blanket coatings or patterned mesoscale coatings with shadow masks.