Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) is an excellent method for creating highly controlled layers of nanomaterials or molecules with controlled packing density and layer thickness down to one particle layer. While the LB process can be upscaled to coat for example 8 inch silicon wafers, it has restrictions in throughput, scalability and in the ability to use flexible substrates. To overcome these restrictions, roll-to-roll (R2R) LB technology has been developed.
How does Roll-to-Roll Langmuir-Blodgett work?
In Roll-to-Roll LB, the substrate is a film that is guided from a start roll into the subphase.
When the film rises from the subphase through the interface, it gets coated by the particles or molecules used. The substrate continues to a collecting roll that collects the coated substrate. An automated movable barrier ensures the particle packing density to the desired value to have a high-quality coating. The same system can enable also traditional LB and Langmuir-Schaefer (LS) experiments and can be combined with a Brewster Angle Microscope for imaging of the layer.
Roll-to-Roll Langmuir-Blodgett applications
R2R LB technology is particularly suitable for expanding the capabilities of typical LB deposition into more flexible substrates and in an upscaled-process. Especially nanomaterials such as nanoparticles are promising materials to be used in the R2R coating process.
The technology has been utilized for depositing silica nanospheres on flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film in large areas. It has been shown that a very high coating quality can be achieved with high packing density. The coated structures can be used for example in organic photovoltaic modules to increase their optical properties and efficiency.
Since Roll-to-Roll LB is a new technique with rapidly increasing interest, it is expected more emerging applications will be seen in the near future.
If you want to learn more, please download the technology overview on Roll-to-Roll LB below.
Jyrki Korpela is the Global Product Manager for Attension and KSV NIMA. He has a background in biomaterials from Aalto University and is constantly looking for ways to make the life of customers easier and their results better. He’s excited about working at the frontiers of science and progress