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Multilayer Aluminum Thin Films as Effective Encapsulation for Flexible Organic Devices

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This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

Pinhole, Thin Film Encapsulation, Aluminum, Electrode, Calcium Test, Seed, WVTR

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      Abstract

      Thin film organic devices like organic solar cells require encapsulation against water vapor. Depending on the device, water vapor transmission rates (WVTR) in the range of $10^{-5}\cdot g/(m^2\cdot day)$ are needed for lifetimes of at least five years. In this work we aim at improving the encapsulation properties of opaque vacuum-evaporated aluminum back-electrodes to fulfill these barrier requirements. Water diffusion through aluminum layers is defect-driven. To reduce defect densities, the growt h behavior of the aluminum layer is modified by underlying metallic seed-layers which have shown improved performance in transparent metal thin-film electrodes. Significant improvement of WVTR can be achieved with multilayer structures. Thin interlayers that decouple the defect positions in consecutive aluminum layers provide long and tortuous diffusion-paths for water-molecules. In our study, we use the electrical calcium-test to investigate stacks of aluminum layers with various interlayers with respect to steady-state WVTR and lag-time. The interlayers consist of different planarizing, diffusion-limiting, or getter materials that absorb water-molecules as they diffuse through the barrier. These optimized aluminum multilayers are promising candidates for organic thin-film encapsulation.

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      Journal
      10.14293/P2199-8442.1.SOP-PHYS.PSKQTV.v1
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