14 August 2007

Powerlase lasers help LG Electronics meet increasing demand for flat-panel displays

Powerlase Limited, manufacturers of the world's most powerful nanosecond Q-switched, diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) lasers, announced the volume purchase of the high-powered Starlase AO8 laser by LG Electronics. LG will integrate the new lasers with existing systems to ramp-up production capacity of Plasma Display Panels (PDP).

The A08 laser is a further development of the proven Starlase series. It has been specifically designed to address PDP manufacturing requirements. The AO8 employs the highest power in its class and offers customers a unique combination of features, allowing rapid material processing and the ability to replace existing industrial processes.

The introduction of the Starlase laser range to the PDP market has lead to a wide-spread uptake of laser technology and associated manufacturing techniques. High-profile manufactures, such as LG, have benefited from improved production costs and processes following the implementation of the laser systems.

The new lasers will be used in conjunction with other Powerlase systems previously purchased by LG and are the essential component of the Rapid Laser Patterning process (RLP). RLP is replacing wet-etch photolithography methods used to create patterning on flat-panel screens. The new technique has been successful in driving down production costs by greatly reducing the number of steps involved in the manufacturing process.

Tony King, CEO at Powerlase, explains: "The introduction of the Powerlase laser systems has significantly altered flat-panel production methods. The previous wet-etch technique was a six-step process and required multi-million dollar area steppers and patterning equipment. With the RLP technique the lasers directly pattern the ITO surface used as the flat-panel screen, removing the need for the stepper machine and patterning equipment and cutting production to a two-step process. Manufacturing PDPs in this manner is much more efficient and results in production costs being driven down."

"We are delighted to be working with LG to help minimise manufacturing costs whilst driving the quality and efficiency of PDP manufacture with an established global leader."

A spokesman for LG Electronics commented: "The Powerlase lasers we have used to date have been extremely efficient in improving the production process of PDPs. Demand for high-quality PDP and flat-panel televisions has increased significantly in recent years, and these new laser systems will ensure we are able to meet consumer needs both now and in the future."

Contact: Annette Jones

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