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Thin-Film Electronics: Precision that Accelerates

For more than 10 years, TNO’s experts at Holst Centre have been developing thin-film technology to enable batteries, photovoltaics, OLED lighting, OLED displays, imagers and much more. By combining and integrating a variety of technologies and processes, Holst Centre is uniquely qualified to demonstrate and qualify new device concepts and help industry partners realise state-of-the-art applications.

Experience on the cutting edge

OLED technology from Holst Centre

For industries that develop displays, medical imagers and bioelectronics, but also for those branches that provide energy conversion and storage, thin-film technology offers the form factor and functionality that manufacturers need. TNO at Holst Centre pushes the boundaries in individual technologies and in their integration, making use of a range of deposition and patterning technologies.

Next-generation ALD

Spatial ALD roll-to-roll equipment

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) offers precise control and uniformity of film composition and thickness. TNO’s spatial ALD (s-ALD) solution adds much higher deposition rates and an atmospheric pressure process that does not require costly vacuum equipment.

TNO has successfully scaled up s-ALD to large areas in sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll equipment. The technology is ready for optimisation and integration into commercial production of solid-state batteries, photovoltaics, displays and semiconductor components.

Thin-film transistor technology

TNO is a forerunner in oxide thin-film transistors (TFTs). These are primarily used for displays and imagers, but a host of other applications are possible. We have advanced TFT performance, for example by using s-ALD for semiconductor and dielectric layers.

Security in the digital age

To address the need for heightened security, TNO has developed expertise in large-area, high-resolution optical sensors. These are ideal for under-display fingerprint and biometric detectors that protect against spoofing and security breaches. They deliver high resolution in sizes large enough for palm and four-finger scans and yet are thin, lightweight and (semi-)transparent, so can be integrated into various electronics and intelligent surfaces.

TNO also developed the world’s first high-resolution perovskite-based fingerprint sensor with over 80% EQE. Its near-infrared sensors can also be applied for biomedical imaging of the outer skin, giving access to measurement of various health parameters.

Fingerprint sensor based on piezo elements

Next-generation ultrasound

Safe, radiation-free medical imaging is possible through ultrasound. However, current technology requires a highly skilled operator who is located at a healthcare centre. The technology also only offers a small field of view.

With our unique thin-film electronics, TNO at Holst Centre makes it possible to create large-area, flexible transducer arrays that will allow hands-free ultrasound systems that do not require a skilled operator. The ultrasound-on-foil technology allows thousands of individual transducers to be integrated into an adhesive patch. Such patches can be used, for example, for at-home monitoring of high-risk pregnancies and arterial plaque build-up.

Future focus

TNO at Holst Centre aims to continue to advance technology in healthcare. The same technology used to create foldable displays and semi-transparent imagers will be applied to innovative microfluidics, bioelectronics and potentially even brain/computer interfaces.

What’s more, TNO continues to invest in the energy domain, with the development of next-generation lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells and electrolysers.

Roadmap

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