Layers with thicknesses fewer than one hundred nanometers are extremely sensitive and can easily degrade or lose their functionality. The reasons for this can be particle debris or delamination of irradiated layers, thermal damage of neighboring areas and other layers, as well as the generation of bulges in the outer areas of the ablations. In order to achieve a sufficiently high quality, parameters – such as gas atmosphere, spatial and temporal pulse shape, and subsequent cleaning – have to be taken into account while the process
is developed. Alternatively, one can fall back on hybrid processes such as thermochemical ablation. In particular,
during structuring of the transparent conductive Indium tin oxide (ITO) – commonly used in organic electronics – bulges can form, which are problematic for subsequent layering. Fraunhofer ILT is developing processes which can significantly reduce these sources of defects according to the requirements of the application, for example by using adapted wavelengths, pulse durations and ablation strategies.