Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Go ahead, dunk your cell phone in salt water

Date:
October 30, 2013
Source:
AVS: Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing
Summary:
New barrier films could better protect electronics in harsh environments, and are being developed for public consumption.

Barrier films, used in everything from food and drug packaging to consumer electronics and solar cells, help prevent your food from spoiling, help to preserve medication, and protect your electronics from damage due to exposure to air or a splash of water. Now a group of researchers in Georgia have developed a new way to produce better films using atomic layer deposition.

These are not the flimsy films of plastic that may seal a package of cookies. High-end barrier films that safeguard your phone's high-tech organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display from every whiff of oxygen or molecule of water vapor require higher performance transparent materials such as metal oxides.

Existing methods for manufacturing these high-performance barriers aren't perfect. Due to the way they're made, they often have small defects, resulting in tiny holes that let in water or oxygen. That's why Samuel Graham and his colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology have been exploring how to use atomic layer deposition to produce better barrier films. At the AVS 60th International Symposium and Exhibition, held in Long Beach, Calif. Oct. 27 -- Nov. 1, Graham will discuss some of the latest developments in this effort.

Graham and his colleagues have created new barrier films that can protect electronics in very harsh environments -- when submerged in salt water for months, for example.

"By creating such barrier films, we are able to extend the lifetime and reliability of electronic devices," Graham said. The new coatings can be used for electronics such as implantable biomedical devices, light-emitting diodes (LED) used in solid-state lighting and displays, solar cells, and organic electrochromic windows, which go from opaque to clear when a voltage is applied. Barrier films will play a large role in the development of many future electronic devices made with organic materials, Graham added.

How Atomic Layer Deposition Works

High-performance barrier films are usually made with techniques such as sputter deposition or plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. In these methods, material is either "sprayed" onto a substrate or grown from a plasma, creating a thin layer that becomes the film. Although efficient and common in industry, these techniques often result in defects, requiring multiple coatings to create good barrier films.

With atomic layer deposition, the researchers have precise control down to the molecular level, allowing them to make thin, even films that have minimal defects. In this process, the researchers surround a substrate with a gas containing a particular metal atom like aluminum. The molecules of the gas attach themselves onto the substrate, forming a single layer of atoms. Next, excess gas is removed from the chamber and another gas is introduced that then oxidizes the metal, creating a metal oxide that's impervious to air or water. The process is repeated to reach the desired thickness, which is only about 10 nanometers. In contrast, films made with more conventional techniques are tens to hundreds of times thicker.

Companies are already developing and selling atomic layer deposition technology, Graham says. But for wide-scale commercial use, more work needs to be done to improve the technology, how fast the materials are deposited, and the chemical stability and mechanical reliability of the films.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by AVS: Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

AVS: Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing. "Go ahead, dunk your cell phone in salt water." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030111312.htm>.
AVS: Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing. (2013, October 30). Go ahead, dunk your cell phone in salt water. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030111312.htm
AVS: Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing. "Go ahead, dunk your cell phone in salt water." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030111312.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins