11 March 2008

HardRam and Powerlase Forge Green Innovation for Plasma Display Manufacture

Powerlase Limited, manufacturers of the world’s most powerful nanosecond Q-switched, diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) lasers, today announces laser systems integrator HardRam Co Ltd has selected the Starlase AO8 laser to revolutionise PDP manufacture.

Using Powerlase technology, HardRam will use the RLP technique to dramatically reduce the negative impact on the environment caused by traditional PDP manufacture methods and increase the speed and efficiency of manufacturing throughput.

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%, compared with 80-85% achieved with wet-etch lithography.

Kevin Reardon, Head of Sales and Business Development at Powerlase, explains: “Increasingly we are seeing manufacturers and systems integrators wake up to the advantages of laser-based systems for the production of PDPs and other FPDs. The RLP technique reduces the environmental impact of manufacturing, something that is extremely high on consumer electronics manufacturer’s agendas, while streamlining the process. As consumer demand for these units increases, more and more manufactures will begin seeking modern, green solutions to FPD production.”

Mr Sung-Wook Min at HardRam concludes: “We are committed to developing best-in-class laser systems across a range of manufacturing requirements. By incorporating the high-powered laser provided by Powerlase, we expect to demonstrate, beyond any doubt, that the RLP technique is the superior manufacturing method for thin film patterning.”

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