OLEDSOLAR: Innovative manufacturing processes and in-line monitoring techniques for the OLED and thin film and organic photovoltaic industries
Opto-electronic devices are opening exciting new applications every day. With new display options using pliable substrates such as plastic and flexible glass, OLEDs manufacturers are bringing a wide range of new applications in lighting (e.g. energy efficient lighting) and different type of displays. Similarly, with the emergence of thin-film technologies in the solar cells market, new applications ranging from installations on curved surfaces to building integrated PV has become possible. However, to meet the industry requirements for mass production, including low cost, manufacturing volumes and efficiency, many challenges still need to be addressed. These challenges for OPV, OLED and CIGs are scaled-up from laboratory to mass production, selection of efficient manufacturing processes, employing inspection, control and measurement techniques to improve yield, quality and time-to-market.
OLEDSOLAR aims to tackle these challenges by developing innovative manufacturing processes for critical steps in the production of opto-electronic devices including OLEDs, OPVs and CIGs solar cells. The proposed activities include reconfigurable high yield (>10% improvement) processes to be scaled up, tested at pilot lines and implemented in production line for validation. A complete system of inspection, quality control, functional testing and measurements using advance system and sensors will be optimised in the project for efficient manufacturing of opto-electronic parts. Recycling and re-use strategies will be developed allowing resource efficiency and reduction of high value product wastes. Automation and advance processing software will be developed for overall control and monitoring of roll-to-roll (R2R) and sheet-to-sheet (S2S) manufacturing process.
During 36 months, a multidisciplinary team of leading RTOs and industries in this field will dedicate their resources and effort to perform proposed activities in 8 WPs and guarantee the maximum impact of OLEDSOLAR project.
For roll-to-roll production of these components, the correlation between all parameters (materials, production, inspection) and the final device performance needs to be determined as early as possible. For instance, the performance of organic solar cells and organic LEDs is highly dependent on the thicknesses of the constituent layer materials composing the device. The lack of accurate information about the thickness of the thin films would prevent the detection of components that not perform well against design specifications. Without real-time thin film thickness measurements, or continuous yield monitoring directly integrated in the production line, the capacity of optimizing the production process becomes very limited and costly.
Brunel Innovation Centre's Role
Defect detection and localisation using image processing and machine learning
- Defect identification using machine learning
- Identification of affecting factors in a production line based on input sensors’ data
- Production line optimisation based on environmental and affective factors
- Sample quality control based on image processing
- Brunel University London
Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project
Professor Tat-Hean Gan
- Professional Qualifications - CEng. IntPE (UK), Eur Ing, BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronics Engg (Uni of Nottingham), MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering (University of Warwick), MBA in International Business (University of Birmingham), PhD in Engineering (University of Warwick), Languages - English, Malaysian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Professional Bodies - Fellow of the British Institute of NDT, Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Tat-Hean Gan has 10 years of experience in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Condition Monitoring of rotating machineries in various industries namely nuclear, renewable energy (eg Wind, Wave ad Tidal), Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Construction and Infrastructure, Aerospace and Automotive. He is the Director of BIC, leading activities varying from Research and development to commercialisation in the areas of novel technique development, sensor applications, signal and image processing, numerical modelling and electronics hardware. His experience is also in Collaborative funding (EC FP7 and UK TSB), project management and technology commercialisation.