Breakthrough production technology in high -efficiency energy applications

With its innovative spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (sALD) technology Holst Centre enables the fast and low-cost production of applications that generate, store and convert energy.

Our spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (sALD) technology is a ground-breaking innovation for the large-scale production of flexible solar cells, batteries, OLED lighting, sensors and displays. It offers the same precise control and uniformity of film composition and thickness as traditional atomic layer deposition (ALD), but at much higher deposition rates: around 1 nm/s. Moreover, sALD is an atmospheric pressure process and does not require costly vacuum equipment. The possibility to produce uniform, ultra-thin layers of materials on large surfaces is of great importance to the global high-tech industry. The long-term cooperation between knowledge institutes and businesses in the Eindhoven region made it possible to transfer this innovative technology from the lab to the manufacturer.

Suited for extreme aspect ratios

Holst Centre has successfully upscaled sALD to large areas in sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll equipment to achieve highly uniform layers, not only on flat surfaces, but also for conformal coatings on structures with an extreme aspect ratio. The technology is ready to be integrated into commercial production of, for example, thin-film solid-state batteries, optical stacks, thin-film photovoltaics and semiconductor and dielectric layer stacks for a host of large-area applications.

Area-selective ALD

The scaling in state-of-the-art device nanofabrication requires ever finer patterning steps with increasing demands on feature alignment. This scaling poses serious challenges as the features become smaller than what can be patterned with the conventional top-down fabrication. Nanopatterning involving area-selective deposition, in particular area-selective Atomic Layer Deposition (asALD), has been identified as a potential solution to push device manufacturing towards new frontiers. At Holst Centre we are pushing the boundaries of this technique by enlarging the throughput and customising asALD methods to the requirements of our partners.

Greater energy efficiency

Global manufacturers of solar panels and batteries, as well as their customers such as the automotive industry, aim for higher returns on energy conversion, more efficient power consumption, higher energy-storage capacity combined with shorter charging times, and a longer product lifespan. In all these growth markets, short production times against the lowest possible costs are essential for success. Scientific testing has shown that sALD can play a decisive role in achieving this success. Therefore, this innovative production technology has the potential to accelerate electrification and boost the Dutch high-tech industry.