Challenge of Phosphor Sensitivity

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Challenge of Phosphor Sensitivity 

There is a growing demand for phosphors, particularly for use in backlighting in the LED industry.  The challenge for the supplier is working with tricky compounds that are air (oxygen) and moisture sensitive. Materion Advanced Materials is an industry leader in controlled atmosphere material handling and packaging, with our strength in meeting the difficult demands for stable product.

While Materion does not provide the actual phosphors, it supplies materials that are a pre-cursor to phosphors. Particularly challenging to the manufacturing process is that these powders decompose in ambient atmosphere.  In order to maintain product integrity, which is more stringent than quality alone, the materials must be produced in low levels of moisture and oxygen, then carefully packaged in a manner that will maintain the product’s properties. The customer NEEDS to receive the exact product created under the correct conditions across all batches with total consistency.  Product integrity and consistency across batches are critical to the customer’s downstream quality requirements.

To ensure the product is not compromised by the environment, Materion has developed an Air Sensitive Materials Packaging System, designed to achieve maximum product shelf life. At Materion, the product’s initial container is topped with a Teflon-lined cap and is packed under Argon into a vacuum-sealed inner bag. Inside that bag is a desiccant pack for additional moisture protection.  (See Figure 1.)  This process is then repeated.

Figure 1: Powder Sealed with Air Sensitive Materials Packaging System

The clear inner sealed bags with the desiccant are then further vacuum sealed in a foil bag. (See Figure 2.) This exceptional packaging approach ensures the customer will receive consistent product quality with each shipment.

Figure 2: Vacuum-sealed Foil Outer Bag

By extending shelf life while maintaining product integrity, Materion provides customers with a competitive advantage.   . The Ca3N2 Packaging Shelf Life Study (See Figure 3) has demonstrated that this packaging system approach can protect material for at least one year!

Figure 3: Results from Ca3N2 Packaging Shelf Life Study

The production of high-quality, consistent air-sensitive materials takes special handling and technical expertise. It requires precise process controls, the use of the best possible raw materials and implementation of protection at every step until final storage. At Materion Advanced Materials, we provide smarter solutions to the challenge of controlled atmosphere handling of phosphors and other sensitive materials. For more information, please contact: Richard.Vehlow@materion.com