Introducing Thin as a Service™
Outsourced ALD from samples to production and beyond
The world is getting thinner. The never-ending quest to miniaturize and digitalize everything while saving our limited resources requires innovative technologies that allow creating ultra-thin reflecting layers, strengthening coatings, nanolaminates and protective barriers in spaces where just a few years ago nobody imagined it would be possible to operate.
Atomic layer deposition, ALD, is such a technology.
Application examples range from flexible electronics, surface passivation of solar cells, moisture barriers of x-ray machines and anti-tarnish treatment of jewelry to RFID tags, smart packaging and LED efficiency improvements with optical coatings. The list goes on.
It isn’t always easy…
The pinhole-free and totally conformal surfaces we can achieve with atomic layer deposition can improve our customers’ products in many ways, but finding the exactly right process and chemistry can sometimes be challenging. We know that from experience.
On the other hand, we have implemented more industrial ALD applications than any other company. When our customers are facing a new coating challenge, our development teams have probably already done something similar.
Beneq is a solution-driven company. When we see a problem our customers are facing, we want to find a way to solve their problems. We are continuously seeking new ways to make ALD easier for our customers.
So a few years ago, we decided to help our customers by offering our development expertise as a service. It has worked very well.
Thin as a Service™
We also happen to have 40 batch ALD tools in our factory.
When we started offering ALD services, some of our service customers soon started asking if the extra capacity in our factory could be used for running small ALD production batches to coat their products. Well, of course it could.
Once we had figured out how to organize the logistics of outsourced atomic layer deposition, the natural next step was to ask: Why don’t we use the unique combination of our ALD service experience and our ALD factory to offer customers atomic layer deposition as a service during the whole life cycle of their products – from lab to fab? Indeed, why not?
That is exactly what we have done. Now the concept has been tested and proved and we have collected all our development service and ALD production experience from Beneq Services into one complete ALD package: Thin as a Service™.
Production ready in a couple of months with ALD-123™
Thin as a Service™ is Beneq’s complete ALD service solution that provides you with a quick and easy way to implement ALD from the first samples to full-blown production.
The service solution consists of two parts: the R&D service that aims to find the customized ALD solution the customer is looking for followed by the industrial production solution that applies the results on the customer’s end products.
The first service part is based on our ALD-123™ development process that (somewhat simplified) looks like this:
After the ALD-123™ process, the coating solution is production ready. You can then select from two options for production: buy your own equipment or continue with Beneq’s coating services.
You name it, we coat it!
Sometimes investing in own equipment is the natural choice because of logistics or production integration reasons, but outsourcing the production to Beneq is typically the fastest way. It allows you to get to the market with a lower risk and a tested industrial coating solution in less than six months. That is something we are quite proud of.
If you are interested to hear more, we would be happy to tell you about the results we have already achieved. You can also find more information on our webpages. We will be sharing examples about our service projects there as we go.
And of course if you have a totally new coating problem, our development team is always keen on getting new challenges that no-one else in the world can solve!
Encapsulation of OLED microdisplaysBeneq developed a thin-film encapsulation nanolaminate coating for a leading Asian OLED microdisplay manufacturer to enable long lifetime for their microdisplays.
Insulator for thin film electroluminescent displaysAn ALD nanolaminate film was developed for Lumineq displays to create a fully pin-hole free thin film insulator layer.
Top electrode for transparent displayBeneq developed an ALD Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) for Lumineq's electroluminescent displays to replace the sputtered IDO that was used in the transparent top electrode.
Moisture protection of PCBsBeneq developed a low-temperature ALD moisture barrier solution for a leading supplier of electronics for personal safety monitoring to protect the sensitive circuit board components from moisture.
Encapsulation of phosphor powderBeneq provided a moisture barrier solution using ALD for FBR (fluidized-bed reactor) for a leading phosphor material manufacturer to protect the sensitive phosphor powders used in LED lighting from moisture.
Anti-corrosion coating for LED packagingBeneq's ALD coating solution solved a leading LED manufacturer's silver reflector corrosion problem by both applying ALD to coat the semi-finished wire-bonded LED assemblies, and by protecting the silver surface with nSilver.
Anti-reflection coating for solar glassBeneq and DSM created a production scale solution using DSM AR coating material and Beneq nFOG aerosol technology for a leading solar glass manufacturer to reduce light reflection on solar panels.
Metal-like coatings for watch partsBeneq developed a thin ALD-based optical coating for a leading watch parts manufacturer to both provide a specific color and to protect from corrosion.
Wafer-level moisture barrier for LEDBeneq provided moisture coating using TFS 200 for a leading LED manufacturer to protect LED dies from moisture and prevent oxidation.
Bottom DBR for LEDBeneq developed a multi-layer DBR structure on a patterned surface for a leading LED manufacturer.
Filling of diffractive gratingsBeneq used ALD coating to fill diffractive gratings for a leading optical system manufacturer to keep the gratings free from debris and boost their optical performance.
Anti-corrosion coating for sensorsThe highly conformal and pin-hole free ALD coating solved a leading sensor manufacturer's sensor corrosion problems without compromising sensor sensitivity.
Buffer layer for CIGS solar panelBeneq developed a thin, cadmium-free ALD buffer for the solar panels of a leading CGIS solar panel manufacturer.
Diffusion barrier for Li-ion batteriesBeneq's ultra-thin ALD coating solved a leading Li-ion battery manufacturer's battery corrosion challenges by reducing the fading of battery capacity caused by repeated charge and unload cycles.
Anti-tarnishing coating for jewelryBeneq helped Kalevala Jewelry in preventing the discoloration of silver surfaces by providing the patented nSilver industrial-scale protection solution for an ultra-thin, totally conformal, and fully transparent anti-tarnish coating.
Optical NIR filter on a glass cylinderBeneq developed a customized batch ALD process for a CCD sensor -based industrial vision systems supplier to coat their near-infrared (NIR) filters.
Optical coatings for lenses in high power lasersBenq developed a conformal high- and low-index multilayer optical coating for a leading provider of high power laser optics and coatings using the TFS 500 batch ALD system.
Coating of Microchannel Plates (MCP)Beneq developed an ALD coating solution for microchannel plates (MCP) for Incom, Inc., the world’s largest supplier of rigid fused fiber optics, to allow for significantly greater secondary electron emission .
Thin-film encapsulation of OLED lightingBeneq developed a conformal, dense, and pinhole-free Al2O3 and TiO2 barrier coating for a leading OLED lighting panel manufacturer to protect OLED panels from humidity.
Thin-film encapsulation of scintillator plates for X-ray imagingBeneq developed a conformal, dense, and pinhole-free low temperature Al2O3 and TiO2 barrier coating for a leading scintillator plate manufacturer to protect scintillator materials from moisture and increase product lifetime and reliability.