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FP7

PLIANT Report Summary

Project ID: 309530
Funded under: FP7-NMP
Country: Germany

Periodic Report Summary 2 - PLIANT (Process Line Implementation for Applied Surface Nanotechnologies)

Project Context and Objectives:
In this integrating project we develop innovative in-line high throughput manufacturing technologies which are based on atmospheric pressure (AP) vapour phase surface and AP plasma processing technologies. Both approaches have significant potential for the precise synthesis of nano-structures with tailored properties, but their effective simultaneous combination is particularly promising. We merge the unique potential of atmospheric pressure atomic layer deposition (AP-ALD), with nucleation and growth chemical vapour deposition (AP-CVD) with atmospheric pressure based plasma technologies e.g. for surface nano-structuring by growth control or chemical etching and, sub-nanoscale nucleation (seed) layers. The potential for cost advantages of such an approach, combined with the targeted innovation, make the technology capable of step changes in nano-manufacturing. Compatible with high volume and flexible multi-functionalisation, scale-up to pilot-lines is a major objective. Pilot lines will establish equipment platforms which will be targeted for identified, and substantial potential applications, in three strategically significant industrial areas:

(i) energy storage by high capacity batteries and hybrid capacitors with enhanced energy density

(ii) solar energy production and

(iii) energy efficient (lightweight) airplanes.

A further aim is to develop process control concepts based on in-situ monitoring methods allowing direct correlation of synthesis parameters with nanomaterial structure and composition.
The developed surface technology and online monitoring tools will be implemented and demonstrated in 4 pilot lines:

Pilot line 1: Roll-to-roll manufacturing of carbon nanotube electrodes for energy storage applications

Pilot line 2a: Aerosol deposition of antireflective coatings and Pilot line 2b: Atomic layer deposition of buffer layers at atmospheric pressure for CIGS PV application

Pilot line 3: Atmospheric pressure plasma technology for surface treatment of large parts for aeronautic applications

Project Results:

The first reporting period (M1 - M18) had a strong focus on establishing the equipment concepts and designs (within WP1/WP2) and the processes (WP 3 / WP 5 / WP 7). In the second reporting period (M19 - M36) the implementation of equipment and processes in the pilot-line demonstrators was the main target (WP 4 / WP 6 / WP 8).

Pilot line 1: Roll-to-roll manufacturing of carbon nanotube electrodes

An equipment module for the chemical solution deposition (CSD) of functional thin films, based on the slot die technology, was installed in the pilot line at Fraunhofer IWS. A process for roll-to-roll deposition of catalyst thin films on metal foils and carbon felts was established.

From these substrates vertical aligned carbon nanotubes can be grown in a second process step via chemical vapour deposition at atmospheric pressure (AP-CVD). For this second process another equipment module has been developed and evaluated. For the first time a continuous growth of VA-CNT on a moving substrate was demonstrated successfully.

The obtained CNT electrodes are tested in high capacity Lithium-sulfur-batteries and high power hybrid capacitors. The benefits of this novel electrode (no binder needed, high electric conductivity, and high surface area) translate into high performance energy storage cells. First demonstrator cells were build and evaluation is in progress.

Furthermore first trials were taken to apply the new developed CSD module for other relevant functional thin films in order to enhance the battery electrode performance. Hyper-spectral-Imaging was evaluated as an at-line monitoring tool for controlling the nanostructure (film thickness, roughness, homogeneity).

Further process optimization and prototype cell evaluation will be the main objectives for the up-coming period.

Pilot line 2a: Aerosol deposition of antireflective coatings and Pilot line 2b: Atomic layer deposition of buffer layers at atmospheric pressure for CIGS PV application

Both pilot line activities in WP 6 (2a and 2b) are targeting demonstration for CIGS PV module application but can be expanded to a broader application range.

Pilot line equipment 2a includes an aerosol deposition system, has been installed at Beneq and is ready to deposit antireflective coatings with nanometer precision on large areas. Series of trials were carried out with DSM ARC materials on Solibro module glass starting from 300 x 300 mm size, then moving gradually towards final target size of 790 x 1190 mm glass.

As main component of pilot line 2b an atmospheric pressure atomic layer deposition (ALD) module was designed and installed at Beneq. The equipment is ready for process optimization; buffer layer coatings as key component for CIGS PV cells will be evaluated in the up-coming period.

Pilot line 3: Atmospheric pressure plasma technology for surface treatment of large parts

As main component of pilot line 3 the LARGE plasma source was installed and commissioned at Airbus Group. The pilot line equipment include 150-mm-LARGE plasma source with flexible installation of a anodized Al flange, power supply, gas dosage-unit, heat exchanger, precursor evaporated and heated gas pipeline system. At first, the pilot line was used to plasma treated CFRP for bonding adhesion tests. The working distance was identified as an important process parameter for treatment of shaped substrate. After process optimization a significant increase in adhesion strength was confirmed, in accordance to specification.

In parallel to this, the optimization of the LARGE plasma source was continued. This applies the development of generic methods for improving the stability of the arc and electrical monitoring of equipment prior and during the operational period of plasma system. A second way to optimize the LARGE plasma source is their re-design. Re-design of several components of the plasma source lead to a substantial reduction of manufacturing costs, easier maintenance and faster assembly of the plasma source.

Potential Impact:
The integrating project targets for a strategic contribution to establish a European high value added nanomanufacturing industry. New, cost efficient production methods will improve the quality of products in high market value segments in industries such as renewable energy production, energy storage, aeronautics, and space.

Compatible with high volume and flexible multi-functionalisation, manufacturing scale-up to pilot-lines are a major objective. Pilot lines are targeted at answering all critical questions to develop the required design and operational expertise, to support progression directly to production line definition and construction, after project completion. Pilot lines will establish equipment platforms potential applications in three strategically significant industrial areas: (i) energy storage by high capacity batteries and supercapacitors with very high power density, (ii) cost efficient solar energy production and, (iii) energy efficient (lightweight) airplanes.

Overall the project will contribute notably to European Union policy objectives. Future trends in industrial and S&T environments will require radical shifts in industrial structures. High-tech SMEs in Europe have a key role to play since they have always shown their capability to create innovation and jobs. Leading edge industrial developments involve also a strong synergy between technology and organisation, the performance of both being highly dependent on new skills.
To address global competition Europe must stay ahead in technology capability. The PLIANT project targets international leading state-of-the-art manufacturing capability.
Most of all SMEs are expected to benefit from the introduction of innovative technologies which allows solving individual R&D problems with reduced development times. The broadening of the application range should thereby lead to a market expansion which will have a positive impact on the job market for qualified personnel in surface technologies.

Sustainability of the technology – LCA assessment

Life Cycle Analysis assessment including the carbon, water and emissions footprints of the new process technologies (“cradle to grave”) is an integral part of this project. Analysis and optimisation routines will allow highlighting “hot spots”, minimise emissions, or minimise cost of process. The analysis will also address estimating the wider economic and environmental implications of the processes.

List of Websites:
http://www.pliant.eu/

Contact

Frixos Faulstich, (EU Projects Officer)
Tel.: +49 89 12052731
Fax: +49 89 1205772731
E-mail
Record Number: 189806 / Last updated on: 2016-10-13
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