5 November 2008

New Laser Technique Makes Greener Technology More Cost-Effective

Powerlase Ltd, manufacturers of the world’s most powerful nanosecond Q-switched, diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) lasers, has announced the development of the 400G laser for Green Laser Annealing (GLA) in Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) screen manufacture.

The laser products developed by Powerlase are designed in line with specific customer requirements. The 400G has been developed and tested in cooperation with one of the leading display screen manufacturers and is now entering the final development phase before being implemented in high volume manufacturing facilities.

Many companies are developing the GLA process to improve line consistency, which is the problem with conventional ELA (Excimer Laser Annealing) solutions. The GLA process creates long crystals of polysilicon, which are required to provide the required levels of picture performance. This innovation in the production of screens is reflected in the dropping price of AMOLED displays, meaning this greener, high performance display technology is more widely available.

Mr Jung, from Dukin Co., Ltd, commented that “The introduction of GLA to the AMOLED screen manufacturing process has streamlined AMOLED production. The ELA it replaces, although functional, has a high cost of ownership. Currently, the running costs of the ELA equipment is about US$600,000 per year. This equates to a process cost of approximately US$10 per glass sheet. GLA is predicted to be considerably more cost effective than this”.

The Starlase 400G (400 W at 532 nm) DPSS laser will be required for production in order to achieve the required throughput. The 400G product is the most powerful diode-pumped, solid-state green laser currently available.

AMOLED screens match the picture quality of their plasma screen equivalents, but consume much less energy. Traditionally they were not accessible to businesses and consumers alike as the costly nature of manufacturing techniques made the end unit too expensive.

Kevin Reardon, Head of Business Development at Powerlase, commented: “We are committed to developing laser technologies that impact the markets we serve. Everything we do starts with the customer in mind and with a realistic appreciation for the potential applications for each laser. The Starlase 400G is no exception and we are looking forward to further developing the applications with our customers and partners. We have been working very closely with two partners on this project: Dukin in Korea and LIMO in Germany. It is with partnerships like these that allow us to continue our customer focused product development.”

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