Powerlase, a manufacturer of Q-switched, diode-pumped, solid-state lasers, announced that laser systems integrator HardRam Co. Ltd. has selected the Starlase AO8 laser for Plasma Display Panel (PDP) manufacture.
HardRam will use the Rapid Laser Patterning (RPL) technique to 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 wit 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.
According to the company, the technique already has 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.