Powerlase and HardRam have selected the Starlase AO8 laser to reduce the environmental impact caused by producing Plasma Display Panels (PDPs) and increase the speed and efficiency of the manufacturing throughput.
The Rapid Laser Patterning (RLP) based system will reduce harmful chemicals in manufacturing process and streamline the manufacturing process to cut the PDP screen patterning from a six to two step process. Unlike previous wet-etch lithography approaches, RLP does not require harmful chemicals to treat thin film screens, instead relying on the light produced by lasers. The chemicals used become contaminated with the removed film after each use.
Removing these chemicals from the process significantly reduces the harmful impact on the environment as chemical waste disposal is no longer a part of the process. The RLP process creates complex shapes in thin film coatings on glass superstrates, which form the screen of a PDP television. Due to the environmental benefits of the technique it is expected to supersede other technologies in the area of thin film patterning.
HardRam plans to use the new system to prove the benefits of RLP to both domestic and international customers. The technique has already demonstrated the capacity to match or exceed wet-etch results and is a more efficient manufacturing process, as thin film patterning is cut from a six to a two step process. Potential yield is also greater, increasing to approximately 99 per cent, compared with 80-85 per cent achieved with wet-etch lithography.