Coating technologies

An electrifying solution that will boost the high-tech industry

The spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (sALD) technology developed by Holst Centre enables the production of highly energy-efficient batteries, OLED lamps, sensors and displays. A ground-breaking innovation that will spark the sustainable revolution in the automotive industry.

Technology explained

The spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (sALD) technology developed by TNO at Holst Centre is a groundbreaking 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.

TNO at Holst Centre has successfully upscaled sALD to large areas in sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll equipment and can achieve highly uniform layers even for 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.

Societal benefits

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 TNO at Holst Centre invention has the potential to accelerate electrification and boost the Dutch high-tech industry.