Tera-Barrier Films announced today that Kisco has become a strategic investor in the company, and will be the exclusive distributor of their products. The funds will be used by Tera-Barrier to commercialize their moisture-resistant films for flexible OLEDs and organic solar cells. The company is already providing small-volume samples and expects to start large-scale manufacturing in the 'near future'.

Tera-Barrier says that defects such as pinholes, cracks and grain boundaries are common in thin oxide barrier films when fabricated onto plastic substrates. Current barrier technologies focus on reducing these defects by using alternate organic and inorganic multilayers coated on plastic. These multiple layers “stagger” corresponding pores in adjacent layers and create a ‘tortuous’ lengthy pathway for water and oxygen molecules, making it more difficult to travel through the plastic.

In contrast, Tera-Barrier has taken an innovative approach to resolve the ‘pore effect’ by literally plugging the defects in the barrier oxide films using nanoparticles. This reduces the number of barrier layers needed in the construction of the barrier film down to two layers in this unique nanoengineered barrier stack. Tera-Barrier’s barrier stack consists of barrier oxide layers and nanoparticulate sealing layers. The nanoparticles used in the barrier film have a dual function – not only sealing the defect but also actively reacting with and retaining the moisture and oxygen.

The result is a breakthrough moisture barrier performance of better than 10-6 g/m2/day, or one millionth of a gram per square meter per day, which surpasses the requirements for flexible organic device substrates. The barrier film also has a lag time of more than 2,300 hours at 60o C and 90% RH (i.e. the time required for moisture to pass through the barrier film under those conditions). These plastic barrier properties have been tested and confirmed by external testing laboratories.

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