2. Issues of Laser Annealing for Liquid Crystal Manufacture

Issues of 4K/8K manufacturing processes

The definition of liquid crystal panels is improving year by year and is being applied to miniature and mid-sized panels. However, in the case of large panels, making low cost panels with higher definition presents problems.
4K/8K panels are expected to be on sale by 2020, but increasing their size and reducing their cost is an issue.

Is large surface area excimer laser annealing (ELA) difficult?

In current laser annealing, the technique of forming the laser beam in a line shape (line beam) and annealing the material surface is mainstream. In this method, when annealing Gen8.5 and later panels, an optical lens diameter of 1.5 m or more is needed for the line beam, and forming a uniform beam is difficult.
On the other hand, the pulse energy of the laser requires high energy on the order of about 1 to 2 J. However, because increasing both the energy and repeatability of each pulse is difficult in an excimer laser, there is a limit to how far throughput can be improved. Also, annealing a Gen10 panel with one scan using this method is difficult and a different method must be considered for making panels of 120 inches or more.

Microscopic surface area laser annealing method (MLA)

This laser annealing method is a unique method that enables panel sizes to be as large as one likes. However, in order to increase the throughput of the annealing equipment, increasing both the energy and repeatability of the laser pulses is indispensable.