High Performance AlOx Thin Films for Next Generation Sustainable Packaging

Kevin Lifsey

Presented by Rajan Verghese, Applied Materials

AlOx has long been touted as a suitable transparent layer for packaging applications & has indeed found use in a range of retort applications based on high performance PET substrates. However, the drive towards sustainable packaging solutions utilizing a polyolefin “mono-material” architecture have resulted in an increase desire to use softer, reduced stiffness substrate materials. Standard reactive evaporation of these AlOx thin films can no longer be used to deposit high quality, mechanically resilient coatings capable of surviving downstream converting at high yield. Alternative substrate engineering techniques &/or AlOx deposition technologies are therefore required to compensate for these effects. This paper describes the use of an engineered BOPP substrate in combination with a high-density plasma assisted AlOx deposition technique & focuses on the fundamental differences in mechanical & resultant barrier performance levels achievable with both the standard reactive deposition & plasma assisted deposition approaches. Conclusions are also provided indicating the inherent suitability of the plasma assisted approach for high yield, high performance transparent barrier solutions required for the next generation of sustainable packaging.

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