Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
NOVEL MATERIAL AND HARDWARE TO AUTOMATICALLY CLEAN FLEXIBLE ELECTRONIC WEB ROLLS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/165305
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Novel materials and devices can remove small defects from long rolls of flexible electronics material while they are in continuous motion. The cleaning materials are designed to remove small particles without transferring defects or damaging the flexible electronics. The device generally consists of variable speed, motor-driven cylinders mounted on moveable brackets. The cylinders are capable of matching the speed of the cleaning material such that the cleaning material is always in contact with the web roll to be cleaned. The brackets are capable of rotating so the same material can be used more than once. Another material is used to remove debris from the cleaning material. A similar device consisting of motor-driven cylinders and moveable is used to apply the debris removal film to the cleaning film, allowing the cleaning film to be used multiple times.

Inventors:
STARK, Mark, M. (1595 Meadow Wood Lane, Reno, NV, 89502, US)
HUMPHREY, Alan, E. (1595 Meadow Wood Lane, Reno, NV, 89502, US)
Application Number:
US2019/019292
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 22, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
INTERNATIONAL TEST SOLUTIONS, INC. (1595 Meadow Wood Lane, Reno, NV, 89502, US)
International Classes:
B08B3/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOHSE, Timothy, W. (DLA Piper LLP, 2000 University AvenueEast Palo Alto, CA, 94303, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims:

1. An apparatus for applying a cleaning material, the apparatus comprising: a roll of cleaning material attached to a moving cleaner device that places a portion of the cleaning material against a portion of a continuously moving flexible electronics web surface to clean debris from that portion of the moving flexible electronics web surface using the portion of the cleaning material; and wherein the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface has a plurality of portions and each portion moves over a cleaning point over time and the cleaning material roll has a plurality of portions and each portion of the cleaning material is adjacent the cleaning point over time and the cleaning material moves at a same speed as the moving flexible electronics web surface so that the continuous moving flexible electronics web surface is cleaned.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the moving cleaner device further comprises a source cylinder and a take-up cylinder wherein the cleaning material is rolled off of the source cylinder and rolled onto the take-up cylinder after the cleaning material has cleaned the moving flexible electronics web surface.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder each have a motor that drives a motion of the cleaning material past the cleaning point.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the cleaning material has a width equal to a width of the moving flexible electronics web surface.

5. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the source cylinder further comprises a sensor that determines an amount of cleaning material remaining on the source cylinder.

6. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the moving cleaner device further comprises a roller that generates a contact patch between the cleaning material and the moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 further comprising a second roller underneath the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface that presses the portion of the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point against the portion of the cleaning material.

8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the moving cleaner device further comprises a bracket connected to the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder that reverses a direction of the cleaning material wherein the cleaning material rolls off the take-up cylinder and is taken up by the source cylinder so that the cleaning material is reused.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the bracket rotates 180 degrees to reverse the direction of the cleaning material.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the moving cleaner device further comprises an integrated control system that controls the operation of the two cylinders, the sensor and the bracket.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the cleaning material moves in a direction past the cleaning point that is the same as a direction of movement of the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the cleaning material further comprises a cleaning layer being one of a polyimide layer and a polymer layer.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the polymer layer has a Durometer Shore of between about 40 and about 100 and surface energy of 15 to 40 dynes/cm2.

14. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the polymer layer is a silicon containing polymer layer.

15. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the cleaning layer has a thickness of between 20 and 300 microns.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the cleaning material further comprises a web layer underneath the cleaning layer.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the web layer has a thickness of between 20 and 300 microns.

18. A method for cleaning a continuously moving flexible electronics web surface, comprising: moving, at a same speed as the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface, a cleaning material layer;

contacting, at a cleaning point, a portion of the moving cleaning material with a portion of the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface; and

removing debris from the portion of the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface when the portion of the moving cleaning material contacts the portions of the

continuously moving flexible electronics web surface.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein moving the cleaning material further comprises unrolling the cleaning material from a source cylinder and rolling the cleaning material, after the cleaning material has contacted the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface, onto a take-up cylinder.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein moving the cleaning material further comprises driving the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder.

21. The method of claim 19 further comprising determining, by a sensor at the source cylinder, an amount of cleaning material remaining on the source cylinder.

22. The method of claim 19, wherein contacting the cleaning material to the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point further comprises generating, by a roller, contact between the cleaning material and the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein contacting the cleaning material to the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point further comprises pressing, by a roller underneath the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface, the portion of the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point against the portion of the cleaning material.

24. The method of claim 22, wherein moving the cleaning material further comprises moving the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder to reverse a direction of motion of the cleaning material wherein the cleaning material rolls off the take-up cylinder is taken up by the source cylinder so that that the cleaning material is reused.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein moving the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder further comprising rotating the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder 180 degrees to reverse the direction of the cleaning material.

26. An apparatus for cleaning a continuously moving cleaning material being used to clean debris from a flexible electronics roll, the apparatus comprising: a roll of cleaning material attached to a moving device that places a portion of the cleaning material against a portion of a continuously moving cleaning material to clean debris from that portion of the continuously moving cleaning material using the portion of the cleaning material; and wherein the cleaning material has a plurality of portions and each portion moves over a cleaning point over time and the continuously moving cleaning material has a plurality of portions and each portion is adjacent the cleaning point over time and the cleaning material moves at a same speed as the continuously moving cleaning material so that the continuously moving cleaning material is cleaned.

27. The apparatus of claim 26, wherein the moving device further comprises a source cylinder and a take-up cylinder wherein the cleaning material is rolled off of the source cylinder and rolled onto the take-up cylinder after the cleaning material has cleaned the continuously moving cleaning material.

28. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder each have a motor that drives a motion of the cleaning material past the cleaning point.

29. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the cleaning material has a width equal to a width of the continuously moving cleaning material.

30. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the source cylinder further comprises a sensor that determines an amount of cleaning material remaining on the source cylinder.

31. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the moving device further comprises a roller that generates a contact patch between the cleaning material and the continuously moving cleaning material at the cleaning point.

32. The apparatus of claim 31, wherein the moving device further comprises a bracket connected to the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder that reverses a direction of the cleaning material wherein the cleaning material rolls off the take-up cylinder is taken up by the source cylinder so that that the cleaning material is reused.

33. The apparatus of claim 32, wherein the bracket rotates 180 degrees to reverse the direction of the cleaning material.

34. The apparatus of claim 33, wherein the moving cleaning device further comprises an integrated control system that controls the operation of the two cylinders, the sensor and the bracket.

35. The apparatus of claim 26, wherein the cleaning material moves in a direction that is the same as a direction of the continuously moving cleaning material.

36. The apparatus of claim 26, wherein the cleaning material further comprises a cleaning layer being one of a polyimide layer and a polymer layer.

37. The apparatus of claim 36, wherein the polymer layer has a Durometer Shore of between about 40 and about 100 and surface energy of 15 to 40 dynes/cm2.

38. The apparatus of claim 36, wherein the polymer layer is a silicon containing polymer layer.

39. The apparatus of claim 36, wherein the cleaning material has a thickness of between 20 and 300 microns.

40. The apparatus of claim 39, wherein the cleaning material further comprises a web layer underneath the cleaning layer.

41. The apparatus of claim 40, wherein the web layer has a thickness of between 20 and 300 microns.

42. A method for cleaning a continuously moving cleaning material, comprising: moving, at a same speed as the continuously moving cleaning material, a cleaning material layer; contacting, at a cleaning point, a portion of the moving cleaning material with a portion of the continuously moving cleaning material; and

removing debris from the portion of the continuously moving cleaning material when the portion of the moving cleaning material contacts the portions of the continuously moving cleaning material.

43. The method of claim 42, wherein moving the cleaning material further comprises unrolling the cleaning material from a source cylinder and rolling the cleaning material, after the cleaning material has contacted the continuously moving cleaning material, onto a take-up cylinder.

44. The method of claim 43, wherein moving the cleaning material further comprises driving the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder.

45. The method of claim 44 further comprising determining, by a sensor at the source cylinder, an amount of cleaning material remaining on the source cylinder.

46. The method of claim 43, wherein contacting the cleaning material to the continuously moving cleaning material at the cleaning point further comprises generating, by a roller, contact between the cleaning material and the continuously moving cleaning material at the cleaning point.

47. The method of claim 46, wherein moving the cleaning material further comprises moving the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder to reverse a direction of motion of the cleaning material wherein the cleaning material rolls off the take-up cylinder is taken up by the source cylinder so that that the cleaning material is reused.

48. The method of claim 47, wherein moving the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder further comprising rotating the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder 180 degrees to reverse the direction of the cleaning material.

49. An apparatus for applying a cleaning material, the apparatus comprising: a length of cleaning material attached to a moving cleaner device that places a portion of the cleaning material against a portion of a moving flexible electronics roll to clean debris from that portion of the moving flexible electronics web surface using the portion of the cleaning material; a length of second cleaning material attached to a moving device that places a portion of the second cleaning material against a portion of the continuously moving cleaning material to clean debris from that portion of the continuously moving cleaning material using the portion of the second cleaning material; and wherein the moving flexible electronics web surface has a plurality of portions and each portion moves over a cleaning point over time and the cleaning material length has a plurality of portions and each portion is adjacent the cleaning point over time and the cleaning material moves at a same speed as the moving flexible electronics web surface so that the continuous moving flexible electronics web surface is cleaned and wherein the second cleaning material length has a plurality of portions and each portion passes a second cleaning point over time and the second cleaning material length has the plurality of portions and each portion is adjacent the second cleaning point over time and the second cleaning material moves at a same speed as the continuously moving material so that the cleaning material is cleaned at the second cleaning point.

50. The apparatus of claim 49, wherein the moving cleaner device further comprises a source cylinder and a take-up cylinder wherein the cleaning material is rolled off of the source cylinder and rolled onto the take-up cylinder after the cleaning material has cleaned the moving flexible electronics web surface.

51. The apparatus of claim 50, wherein the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder each have a motor that drives a motion of the cleaning material past the cleaning point.

52. The apparatus of claim 51, wherein the cleaning material has a width equal to a width of the moving flexible electronics web surface.

53. The apparatus of claim 50, wherein the source cylinder further comprises a sensor that determines an amount of cleaning material remaining on the source cylinder.

54. The apparatus of claim 50, wherein the moving cleaner device further comprises a roller that generates a contact patch between the cleaning material and the moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point.

55. The apparatus of claim 54 further comprising a roller underneath the moving flexible electronics web surface that presses the portion of the moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point against the portion of the cleaning material.

56. The apparatus of claim 54, wherein the moving cleaner device further comprises a bracket connected to the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder that reverses a direction of the cleaning material wherein the cleaning material rolls off the take-up cylinder is taken up by the source cylinder so that that the cleaning material is reused.

57. The apparatus of claim 56, wherein the bracket rotates 180 degrees to reverse the direction of the cleaning material.

58. The apparatus of claim 57, wherein the moving cleaner device further comprises an integrated control system that controls the operation of the two cylinders, the sensor and the bracket.

59. The apparatus of claim 49, wherein the cleaning material moves in a direction that is the same as a direction of the moving flexible electronics web surface.

60. The apparatus of claim 49, wherein the moving device further comprises a source cylinder and a take-up cylinder wherein the second cleaning material is rolled off of the source cylinder and rolled onto the take-up cylinder after the second cleaning material has cleaned the continuously moving cleaning material.

61. The apparatus of claim 60, wherein the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder each have a motor that drives a motion of the second cleaning material.

62. The apparatus of claim 61, wherein the second cleaning material has a width equal to a width of the cleaning material.

63. The apparatus of claim 60, wherein the source cylinder further comprises a sensor that determines an amount of second cleaning material remaining on the source cylinder.

64. The apparatus of claim 60, wherein the moving device further comprises a roller that generates a contact patch between the second cleaning material and the continuously moving cleaning material at the second cleaning point.

65. The apparatus of claim 64, wherein the moving device further comprises a bracket connected to the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder that reverses a direction of the second cleaning material wherein the second cleaning material rolls off the take-up cylinder is taken up by the source cylinder so that that the second cleaning material is reused.

66. The apparatus of claim 65, wherein the bracket rotates 180 degrees to reverse the direction of the second cleaning material and reuse the second cleaning material.

67. The apparatus of claim 66, wherein the moving cleaning device further comprises an integrated control system that controls the operation of the two cylinders, the sensor and the bracket.

68. The apparatus of claim 49, wherein the second cleaning material moves in a direction that is the same as a direction of the continuously moving cleaning material.

69. A method for cleaning a continuously moving flexible electronics web surface, comprising:

moving, at a same speed as the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface, a cleaning material layer;

contacting, at a cleaning point, a portion of the moving cleaning material with a portion of the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface;

removing debris from the portion of the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface when the portion of the moving cleaning material contacts the portions of the

continuously moving flexible electronics web surface; and

moving a roll of second cleaning material as the same speed as the cleaning material, and contacting, at a second cleaning point, a portion of the second cleaning material against a portion of the continuously moving cleaning material layer to clean debris from that portion of the continuously moving cleaning material using the portion of the material.

70. The method of claim 69, wherein moving the cleaning material further comprises unrolling the cleaning material from a source cylinder and rolling the cleaning material, after the cleaning material has contacted the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface, onto a take-up cylinder.

71. The method of claim 70, wherein moving the cleaning material further comprises driving the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder.

72. The method of claim 70 further comprising determining, by a sensor at the source cylinder, an amount of cleaning material remaining on the source cylinder.

73. The method of claim 70, wherein contacting the cleaning material to the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point further comprises generating, by a roller, contact between the cleaning material and the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point.

74. The method of claim 73, wherein contacting the cleaning material to the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point further comprises pressing, by a roller underneath the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface, the portion of the continuously moving flexible electronics web surface at the cleaning point against the portion of the cleaning material.

75. The method of claim 73, wherein moving the cleaning material further comprises moving the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder to reverse a direction of motion of the cleaning material wherein the cleaning material rolls off the take-up cylinder is taken up by the source cylinder so that that the cleaning material is reused.

76. The method of claim 75, wherein moving the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder further comprising rotating the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder 180 degrees to reverse the direction of the cleaning material.

77. The method of claim 69, wherein moving the second cleaning material further comprises unrolling the second cleaning material from a source cylinder and rolling the second cleaning material, after the second cleaning material has contacted the cleaning material, onto a take-up cylinder.

78. The method of claim 77, wherein moving the second cleaning material further comprises driving the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder.

79. The method of claim 78 further comprising determining, by a sensor at the source cylinder, an amount of second cleaning material remaining on the source cylinder.

80. The method of claim 77, wherein contacting the second cleaning material to the cleaning material at the second cleaning point further comprises generating, by a roller, contact between the second cleaning material and the cleaning material at the second cleaning point.

81. The method of claim 80, wherein moving the second cleaning material further comprises moving the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder to reverse a direction of motion of the second cleaning material wherein the second cleaning material rolls off the take-up cylinder is taken up by the source cylinder so that that the second cleaning material is reused.

82. The method of claim 71, wherein moving the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder further comprising rotating the roller, the source cylinder and the take-up cylinder 180 degrees to reverse the direction of the second cleaning material.

83. A cleaning material for removing small particles from a flexible electronics roll without leaving residues, the cleaning material comprising: a cleaning layer; a web film formed underneath the cleaning layer that supports the cleaning layer; and wherein the cleaning layer and web film are rolled up to form the cleaning material roll.

84. The cleaning material of claim 83, wherein the cleaning layer further comprising one of a polyimide layer and a polymer layer.

85. The cleaning material of claim 84, wherein the polymer layer has a Durometer Shore of between about 40 and about 100 and surface energy of 15 to 40 dynes/cm2.

86. The cleaning material of claim 84, wherein the polymer layer is a silicon containing polymer layer.

87. The cleaning material of claim 83, wherein the cleaning layer has a thickness of between 20 and 300 microns.

88. The cleaning material of claim 83 further comprising a release layer formed on top of the cleaning layer.

89. The cleaning material of claim 87, wherein the web film has a thickness of between 20 and 300 microns.

90. The cleaning material of claim 89, wherein the web film is one of polyester, polyethylene and polyimide.

Description:
NOVEL MATERIAL AND HARDWARE TO AUTOMATICALLY

CLEAN FLEXIBLE ELECTRONIC WEB ROLLS

Priority Claims/Related Applications

This application claims priority under 35 USC 120 and 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/634,545, filed February 23, 2018 and entitled“Novel Material And Hardware To Automatically Clean Flexible Electronic Web Rolls”, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.

Field

The disclosure relates to novel materials and hardware that can be integrated into a roll-to-roll manufacturing system and used to clean the working surface of rolls of web film used for manufacturing various items and products including, for example, flexible electronics and other similar applications including organic LEDs (OLED), display panels, and photovoltaic devices.

Background

Flexible electronics, also known as flex circuits, is a technology for assembling electronic circuits by mounting electronic devices on flexible web substrates, such as polyimide, PEEK or transparent conductive polyester film. Additionally, flex circuits can be screen printed silver circuits on polyester sheets or other similarly flexible sheets. With lower manufacturing costs than traditional silicon-based devices, and the ability to flex, this technology enables many computing and display applications. For example, this technology can also be used to produce photovoltaic cells and LED lighting panels. This processing method is known as roll-to-roll processing, web processing, reel-to-reel processing or R2R processing.

To mass-produce flexible electronics at high volume and low cost, manufacturers are developing roll-to-roll technology to provide inline processing of wide and long rolls - up to 1 meter wide and 2000 meters long. There are manufacturers who can produce these rolls of materials, but the manufacturing process leaves small defects on the surface of the material in the range of 0.5 microns to 250 microns. Various steps in the device manufacturing process also produce defects on the working surface of the web material. The defects from these roll manufacturing processes and the device manufacturing processes can interfere with device processing and lead to low overall yield of working devices from the roll of flexible electronics.

It is difficult to remove these very small defects from the surface of the flexible electronic web roll. They are tightly bonded by electrostatic forces, in particular, Van der Waals forces, which are too strong to be overcome by ordinary washing techniques such as rinsing. Solvent-based cleaning solutions can damage the devices and cannot be used effectively.

Cleaning the surface of the flexible electronics web with an adhesive roll is possible, but rapid buildup of defects on the adhesive roll will make it ineffective very quickly.

Furthermore, most adhesives will be too sticky and either damage the surface or transfer some material to the flexible electronics web roll. Such transfer will also cause yield loss and reduce the number of working devices created on the surface of the flexible electronics roll.

Cleaning systems do exist today for flexible electronics web that make use of a single or double roller. Figure 5 illustrates an example of a commercially-available cleaning system that uses rollers. The roller (16) is made of an adhesive material, typically silicone. This material is cleaned by a roll of adhesive tape (15), that can be discarded periodically.

However, the silicone roller (16) must make repeated contact with the roll 15 to be cleaned.

In addition, a small cleaning surface area is repeatedly contacting a long roll of material. The cleaning must be stopped to change the adhesive cleaning roll, so there is a significant trade off between cleanliness and line stoppage. Once there is a buildup of larger particles on the adhesive tape, it will no longer effectively clean the roller. Also, this technique does not clean small particles well due to the electrostatic bonding of the small particles discussed above.

Therefore, a need exists in the field for novel cleaning material that can remove the defects from the surface of the flexible electronics roll without sticking or transferring material. There is also a need for a device that enables this material to be run continuously as the long flexible electronics roll is running through the manufacturing process. There is also a need for another material that can remove defects/debris from the cleaning material so it can be used multiple times on the very long rolls of material, and there is need for a device to apply the defect-removal sheet to the cleaning sheet. Brief Description of the Drawings

Some embodiments are illustrated as an example and are not limited by the figures of the accompanying drawings, in which like references may indicate similar elements and in which:

Figure 1 depicts a cross section view of one example of the cleaning material and positioning devices according to various embodiments.

Figure 2 illustrates a perspective view of one example of a cleaning device according to various embodiments described herein.

Figure 3 shows a view of the cross section of the cleaning material used to clean the flexible roll according to various embodiments described herein.

Figure 4 shows a view of the cross section of the cleaning material used to remove defects from the cleaning material according to various embodiments described herein.

Figure 5 shows a view of the currently-existing cleaning systems consisting of cleaning rollers with a second roll of material used to clean the rollers.

Detailed Description of One or More Fmbodiments

The disclosure is particularly applicable to a cleaning system and method for roll to roll manufacturing systems for flexible electronics as disclosed in the figures and described below with the particular cleaning structure and it is in this context that the disclosure will be described. It will be appreciated, however, that the cleaning system and method may be used for other manufacturing applications in which it is desirable to be able to effectively clean the system. For example, the cleaning system and method may be used with a roll to roll processing system and method that, for example, may be used to perform nanoimprint photolithography or manufacture photo voltaics, such as flexible polymer solar cells, perovskite solar cells, organic solar cells, etc. The cleaning system and method may also be used to clean the flexible web rolls for automotive applications that would include various requirements for different types of stackable battery constructions being built using roll-to-roll techniques. The cleaning system and method may also be used to clean the flexible web rolls for biomechanical applications in which cleanliness and defect control is critical for roll-to-roll fabrication of various wearable technologies in which electronic and mechanical devices are integrated, printed, or embossed into fabrics and flexible various substrates that can be worn on the skin as well as wearable pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, the cleaning system and method also may be used to clean roll to roll systems used to manufacture display products, such as for example, flexible AMOLED (Active Matrix Light Emitting Diodes) displays that may be used in next generation flex display phones. Furthermore, the cleaner system and method may be used for roll to roll fabrication methods for flex circuits examples of which are described at pdfs.semanticscholar.org/leb5/d0be006ae57dfeb0cbaa8ac4ecla56 c59al9.pdf and

inpressco.com/wp-content/uploads/20l5/l0/Paper653457-3462 .pdf that are incorporated by reference herein.

The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting. As used herein, the term "and/or" includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items. As used herein, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" are intended to include the plural forms as well as the singular forms, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms "comprises" and/or "comprising," when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof.

Unless otherwise defined, all terms (including technical and scientific terms) used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one having ordinary skill in the art. It will be further understood that terms, such as those defined in commonly used dictionaries, should be interpreted as having a meaning that is consistent with their meaning in the context of the relevant art and the present disclosure and will not be interpreted in an idealized or overly formal sense unless expressly so defined herein.

In describing the embodiments, it will be understood that a number of techniques and steps are disclosed. Each of these steps and techniques has individual benefit and each can also be used in conjunction with one or more, or in some cases all, of the other disclosed techniques. Accordingly, for the sake of clarity, this description will refrain from repeating every possible combination of the individual steps in an unnecessary fashion. Nevertheless, the specification and claims should be read with the understanding that such combinations are entirely within the scope of the disclosure and the claims.

New cleaning materials, devices, apparatuses, and methods for positioning cleaning materials on roll-to-roll web sheet manufacturing are discussed herein. In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding. It will be evident, however, to one skilled in the art may be practiced without these specific details. The present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the disclosure, and is not intended to limit the disclosure to the specific embodiments illustrated by the figures or description below.

The web material cleaning system, device and method will now be described by referencing the appended figures illustrating one or more embodiments. FIG. 1 depicts a cross section view of one example of the cleaning material and positioning devices according to various embodiments. In the various embodiments, a device 100 to clean a flexible web roll 1 has a device 101 that is configured with at least two winding cylinders 31, 32, which pass a cleaning material 2 over an application cylinder 4, bringing it in contact with the material 1 to be cleaned. In the example in Figure 1, the cylinder 31 may be a source cylinder from which the cleaning material rolls off and the cylinder 32 may be a take-up cylinder onto which the cleaning material rolls after a portion of it has been used to clean the flexible web roll 1. The device 100 may be known as a moving cleaner device. In one embodiment, the direction of movement of the cleaning material 2 is the same as the direction of movement of the material 1 to be cleaned as shown by the arrows in Figure 1. The material 1 may be supported by another cylinder 6 as shown in Figure 1. In another embodiment not shown in Figure 1, the material 1 to be cleaned may be stretched against the cleaning material 2 where the cleaning material 2 passes over roller 4 without a supporting cylinder. The cylinders 31, 32 may be driven by a variable speed motor that may be synchronized so that the speed and direction of the cleaning material 2 is substantially similar to the speed of the movement of material 1. In the embodiments, the cylinders 31, 32 motors can rotate in either direction. The straight arrows indicate an example of the direction of web 1 travel and cleaning material 2 travel during the cleaning process.

In the embodiments, the cylinders 31, 32 are supported by a moveable bracket 5 which conveys power to the motors. The bracket 5 is able to move away from the surface of web 1 and rotate through 180 degrees so as to reverse the direction of the cleaning roll motion and the cleaning material 2 thus requiring the motor that rotate in either direction. When the direction of the cleaning material 2 is reversed, the cleaning material is wrapped around the take-up cylinder 32 and then taken up by the source cylinder 31 after each portion of the cleaning material 2 cleans the web 1. The bracket 5 can then move back to position the cleaning material 2 against the roll 1. This may allow the same roll of material 2 to be used multiple times for cleaning. In the embodiments, the bracket 5 may also be designed to allow easy exchange of the roll of cleaning material 2. The bracket 5 may be made from aluminum, metal alloy, hard web, or other suitable material. In the preferred embodiments, the bracket 5 and cylinders 31, 32 are under control of a system sequence controller. The sequence controller is a software program that runs on a computer; either on the main system controller for the web manufacturing tool or on a stand-alone unit integrated to the main system controller through a data connector -RS232 or similar. The sequence controller will control the cylinder motors 31,32. It will continuously match speed between the cleaning film and the web material that is being processed, including stopping the cleaning roll when the web is stopped. The sequencer will also control the movement and rotation of bracket 5 or 9. The sequence controller will collect data from the sensors described below 15. When the sensors indicate that the roll is near the end, the bracket will withdraw the cylinders, stop the cylinders, rotate 180 degrees, and then re-start the cylinders and match speed to the web material. The sequencer will move the bracket so the cylinders 31, 32 are in contact with the web material. After a user-defined number of these rotations, the sequencer will pull bracket 5 or 9 away from the web material and provide a signal to the system noting that it is time to replace the material.

A second device 102 as shown in Figure 1 may be used to remove debris from the cleaning material 2. In some embodiments, the device 100 that cleans the flexible web roll 1 has the second device 102 that is configured with at least two winding cylinders 81, 82, which pass a second cleaning material 7 over an application cylinder 10, bringing it in contact with the cleaning material 2 to be cleaned. In the example shown in Figure 1 , the cylinder 81 may be a source cylinder on which the second cleaning material 7 is rolled and the cylinder 82 may be a take-up cylinder onto which the second cleaning material 7 rolls after the portions cleans the cleaning material 2. In the embodiments, this contact is done where the material 2 is supported by cylinder 3. The position of the second device 102 may also be above the cleaning material 2. In another embodiment of the device, the device 102 may be on the side where the cleaning material 2 is unwinding from the cylinder 31. In another embodiment, the second cleaning material 7 may be supported by the additional cylinder 10. In another embodiment, the second cleaning material 7 may be stretched against cylinder 10 without support. The cylinders 81,82 are driven by a variable speed motor that may be synchronized with the speed of the movement of cleaning material 2. In preferred embodiments, the cylinders motors can rotate in either direction.

In the embodiments, the cylinders 81,82 are supported by a moveable bracket 9 which conveys power to the motors. The bracket 9 is able to move away from the surface of the cleaning material 2 and rotate through 180 degrees so as to reverse the direction of the second cleaning material 7. The bracket can then move back to position the second cleaning material 7 against the cleaning material 2. When the direction of the second cleaning material is reversed, cylinder 82 may be the source cylinder while cylinder 81 may be the take-up cylinder. This can allow the same roll of material to be used multiple times for cleaning. In the preferred embodiments, the bracket 9 may also be designed to allow easy exchange of the roll of cleaning material. The bracket may be made from aluminum, metal alloy, hard web, or other suitable material. In the preferred embodiments, the bracket 9 and cylinders 81, 82 are under control of a system sequence controller. The materials for the cleaning material 2 and the second cleaning material 7 are described below with reference to Figures 3-4.

In operation, the device 100 continuously moves the cleaning material web 2 that moves at the same speed as the flexible electronics roll 1 in order to clean the flexible electronics roll 1 as it continuously moves. Both the flexible electronics roll 1 and cleaning material 2 are moving such that a different portion of the cleaning material 2 cleans each different portion of the flexible electronics roll 1. In addition, device 102 carries a second cleaning material 7 that moves and makes contact with portions of the cleaning material 2 and continuously cleans the cleaning material 2 at the take-up cylinder as shown in Figure 1. As described above, the direction of motion of both the cleaning material 2 and material 7 can be reversed so that both the cleaning material 2 and material 7 may be reused. As a result, the cleaning material 2 and material 7 may be used for a longer period of time until they have to be replaced. As shown in Figure 1, the web 1 and cleaning material may contact/be adjacent each other at a first cleaning point and the cleaning material 2 and second cleaning material may contact/be adjacent each other at a second cleaning point. In the operation, the cleaning material 2 has a plurality of portions and each portion cleans a particular portion of the web 1 as the web 1 and cleaning material 2 move in the same direction and speed. Similarly, the second cleaning material 7 has a plurality of portions and each portion cleans a particular portion of the cleaning material 2 as the cleaning material 2 and second cleaning material 7 move in the same direction and speed.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of one example of a cleaning device 200 according to various embodiments described herein. In the embodiments, the cylinders 31, 32 (which correspond to the cylinders 31,32 in Figure 1) or the cylinders 81,82 may each have a sensor 15 which can determine how much material 2 or 7 remains on the cleaning material roll. For example, the sensor 15 most commonly used for this purpose is a commercially available distance sensor that measures distance from a fixed point to the roll surface and these are typically laser or infra-red reflective sensors. Another type of sensor would be a through- beam laser sensor at a fixed point above the cylinder so that once the roll was empty, the through beam would not be blocked indicating that the roll needs to be changed. The signal from this sensor may be integrated with the system sequence controller to determine when the bracket 5 or 9 should be rotated as described above.

FIG. 3 shows the cross-section of the cleaning material 2 used to clean the flexible electronics web 1. The cleaning material 2 selected should be flexible, effective at removing small particles, and should not contaminate the surface of the flexible electronics roll 1. One example of the material is silicone and silicone-containing polymers with a Durometer Shore A of 40-100 and a surface energy of 15 to 40 dynes/cm2. One example of this material is a cured two-component silicone commercially- available material on a polyester carrier film. The surface energy may be measured using the Fowkes two-component method with water and diiodomethane as probe liquids. In another embodiment, polyimide may be used as the cleaning material 2. Polyimide has good cleaning characteristics, but is less sticky than silicone. This may be an advantage for areas where the web material is under less tension and may adhere to the silicone, affecting the web tool. The cleaning material 2 may include a cleaning surface layer 11 with a polymer thickness of 20 to 300 microns and may be supported on a web film 12, which may be in the range of 20 to 300 microns. The web film 12 may consist of polyester, polyethylene, polyimide, or other suitably flexible and durable web film. In some embodiments of the material 2, in order to use the cleaning material repeatedly and depending on the adhesive properties of the cleaning layer 11, the cleaning surface layer 11 may have a release agent or release liner on the wind up side on top of the layer 11. The release agent or liner could be used for any of the material types to extend the life of the cleaning films by providing mechanical support during the winding and unwinding process.

The contaminants to be picked up includes organic contaminants, metallic

contaminants, byproducts of the manufacturing process, and biological contaminants introduced by individuals working in the facility. The particles sizes would range from 0.1 micron to 10 centimeters. The particles adhere to the cleaning film through electrostatic attraction, the majority of the particles are held by Van der Waals forces. The cleaning material type would be chosen to match the web film being cleaned and the fixturing holding the web. The material would be selected to optimize cleaning while not significantly deforming the material being cleaned.

The cleaning material may be the same width as the web material, it could be narrower or slightly wider that the material. This could be user defined. The width of the cleaning material would be between 10 cm and 1000 cm. There may also be embodiments with wider cleaning material.

FIG. 4 shows the cross-section of the material 7 used to remove debris from the cleaning material. The material selected should be flexible, effective at removing small particles, and should not contaminate the surface of the cleaning material 3. The materials may include pressure sensitive adhesives and other non-curing adhesives. In the embodiments, the cleaning material 7 may include a cleaning surface layer 13 that may have a polymer thickness of 20 to 300 microns and may be supported on a web film 14, which may be in the range of 20 to 300 microns. The web film may consist of polyester, polyethylene, polyimide, or other suitably flexible and durable web film. In some embodiments, in order to use the cleaning material 13 repeatedly and depending on the adhesive properties of the cleaning layer 11, the cleaning surface layer 13 may have a release agent or release liner on the wind up side on top of the layer 13. In another embodiment, each of the cleaning material shown in Figures 3 and 4 may have a cleaning material surface on both sides of the support web. -lO-

In another embodiment of this device, multiple devices configured with different cleaning films to optimize cleaning of different types of particles may be placed along the web surface. The cleaning films may have different surface properties, such as surface roughness, tack, or surface energy to more efficiently pick up different particle types. In one

embodiment, a device with material with a rougher and stickier surface could be in contact with the web first to remove large particles, followed by a device with a smoother and less sticky film to remove smaller particles. In another embodiment, one material might be selected for surface properties best suited for collecting metal particles, and another material might be selected for surface properties best suited for collecting organic particles.

In another embodiment, an anti-static device, such as an ionizer, may be placed over the web material on an input side of the cleaning device (left hand side of the exemplary device shown in Figure 1) to eliminate static buildup that may be present on the surface before cleaning. A similar anti-static device may be placed at an exit side of the cleaning device (right hand side of the exemplary device shown in Figure 1).

While preferred materials for elements have been described, the device is not limited by these materials. Other materials with similar characteristics may be used.

Although the system, device and method has been illustrated and described herein with reference to preferred embodiments and specific examples thereof, it will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that other embodiments and examples may perform similar functions and/or achieve like results. All such equivalent embodiments and examples are within the spirit and scope of the disclosure, are contemplated thereby, and are intended to be covered by the following claims.

The foregoing description, for purpose of explanation, has been described with reference to specific embodiments. However, the illustrative discussions above are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the disclosure to the precise forms disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible in view of the above teachings. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the disclosure and its practical applications, to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the disclosure and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. The system and method disclosed herein may be implemented via one or more components, systems, servers, appliances, other subcomponents, or distributed between such elements. When implemented as a system, such systems may include an/or involve, inter alia, components such as software modules, general-purpose CPU, RAM, etc. found in general- purpose computers,. In implementations where the innovations reside on a server, such a server may include or involve components such as CPU, RAM, etc., such as those found in general-purpose computers.

Additionally, the system and method herein may be achieved via implementations with disparate or entirely different software, hardware and/or firmware components, beyond that set forth above. With regard to such other components (e.g., software, processing

components, etc.) and/or computer-readable media associated with or embodying the present inventions, for example, aspects of the innovations herein may be implemented consistent with numerous general purpose or special purpose computing systems or configurations. Various exemplary computing systems, environments, and/or configurations that may be suitable for use with the innovations herein may include, but are not limited to: software or other components within or embodied on personal computers, servers or server computing devices such as routing/connectivity components, hand-held or laptop devices, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based systems, set top boxes, consumer electronic devices, network PCs, other existing computer platforms, distributed computing environments that include one or more of the above systems or devices, etc.

In some instances, aspects of the system and method may be achieved via or performed by logic and/or logic instructions including program modules, executed in association with such components or circuitry, for example. In general, program modules may include routines, programs, objects, components, data structures, etc. that perform particular tasks or implement particular instructions herein. The inventions may also be practiced in the context of distributed software, computer, or circuit settings where circuitry is connected via communication buses, circuitry or links. In distributed settings, control/instructions may occur from both local and remote computer storage media including memory storage devices.

The software, circuitry and components herein may also include and/or utilize one or more type of computer readable media. Computer readable media can be any available media that is resident on, associable with, or can be accessed by such circuits and/or computing components. By way of example, and not limitation, computer readable media may comprise computer storage media and communication media. Computer storage media includes volatile and nonvolatile, removable and non-removable media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information such as computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data. Computer storage media includes, but is not limited to, RAM, ROM, EEPROM, flash memory or other memory technology, CD-ROM, digital versatile disks (DVD) or other optical storage, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium which can be used to store the desired information and can accessed by computing component. Communication media may comprise computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules and/or other components. Further, communication media may include wired media such as a wired network or direct- wired connection, however no media of any such type herein includes transitory media.

Combinations of the any of the above are also included within the scope of computer readable media.

In the present description, the terms component, module, device, etc. may refer to any type of logical or functional software elements, circuits, blocks and/or processes that may be implemented in a variety of ways. For example, the functions of various circuits and/or blocks can be combined with one another into any other number of modules. Each module may even be implemented as a software program stored on a tangible memory (e.g., random access memory, read only memory, CD-ROM memory, hard disk drive, etc.) to be read by a central processing unit to implement the functions of the innovations herein. Or, the modules can comprise programming instructions transmitted to a general purpose computer or to processing/graphics hardware via a transmission carrier wave. Also, the modules can be implemented as hardware logic circuitry implementing the functions encompassed by the innovations herein. Finally, the modules can be implemented using special purpose instructions (SIMD instructions), field programmable logic arrays or any mix thereof which provides the desired level performance and cost.

As disclosed herein, features consistent with the disclosure may be implemented via computer-hardware, software and/or firmware. For example, the systems and methods disclosed herein may be embodied in various forms including, for example, a data processor, such as a computer that also includes a database, digital electronic circuitry, firmware, software, or in combinations of them. Further, while some of the disclosed implementations describe specific hardware components, systems and methods consistent with the innovations herein may be implemented with any combination of hardware, software and/or firmware. Moreover, the above-noted features and other aspects and principles of the innovations herein may be implemented in various environments. Such environments and related applications may be specially constructed for performing the various routines, processes and/or operations according to the invention or they may include a general-purpose computer or computing platform selectively activated or reconfigured by code to provide the necessary functionality. The processes disclosed herein are not inherently related to any particular computer, network, architecture, environment, or other apparatus, and may be implemented by a suitable combination of hardware, software, and/or firmware. For example, various general-purpose machines may be used with programs written in accordance with teachings of the invention, or it may be more convenient to construct a specialized apparatus or system to perform the required methods and techniques.

It should also be noted that the various logic and/or functions disclosed herein may be enabled using any number of combinations of hardware, firmware, and/or as data and/or instructions embodied in various machine-readable or computer-readable media, in terms of their behavioral, register transfer, logic component, and/or other characteristics. Computer- readable media in which such formatted data and/or instructions may be embodied include, but are not limited to, non-volatile storage media in various forms (e.g., optical, magnetic or semiconductor storage media) though again does not include transitory media. Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, throughout the description, the words "comprise, " "comprising," and the like are to be construed in an inclusive sense as opposed to an exclusive or exhaustive sense; that is to say, in a sense of "including, but not limited to." Words using the singular or plural number also include the plural or singular number respectively.

Additionally, the words "herein," "hereunder," "above," "below," and words of similar import refer to this application as a whole and not to any particular portions of this application. When the word "or" is used in reference to a list of two or more items, that word covers all of the following interpretations of the word: any of the items in the list, all of the items in the list and any combination of the items in the list. Although certain presently preferred implementations of the invention have been specifically described herein, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains that variations and modifications of the various implementations shown and described herein may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention be limited only to the extent required by the applicable rules of law.

While the foregoing has been with reference to a particular embodiment of the disclosure, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes in this embodiment may be made without departing from the principles and spirit of the disclosure, the scope of which is defined by the appended claims.