Coherent-AP System, Challenges to win back the market with new Excimer LLO

Jan 11, 2018

In the laser lift-off (LLO) equipment market for flexible organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), excimer lasers are working to re-establish their dominance. Over the course of 2016 and 2017, the latecomer Diode Pumped Solid State Laser (DPSS) gained some market share, and the market share for excimers declined. But this year, Excimer LLO will attempt to reverse that trend with new products that have reduced cost of ownership and improved performance.

According to industry sources on Wednesday, Coherent, which supplies excimer laser sources, is working with AP systems to develop new types of LLO equipment. Compared to Philips Optics' DPSS LLO, the excimer LLO equipment will strengthen the advantages of the existing excimer laser, and also lower the price, aiming to win back the market.

Coherent-AP System, Challenges to win back the market with new Excimer LLO

The excimer laser supplied by Coherent is a key device for forming low temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS), or for removing the polyimide (PI) film used as a flexible OLED substrate from the glass carrier on which it is fabricated.

Excimer lasers are uniquely positioned in ELA. Since Samsung Display first mass-produced 6th generation flexible OLEDs, Excimer LLO also maintained an unrivalled position in the flexible OLED market.

However, DPSS-based LLO increased its share in 2016 and 2017 when Samsung Display invested heavily in the A3 line. Philipoptics, a domestic equipment company, threatened the dominance of excimers by supplying LLO equipment using Trump's DPSS laser source to Samsung Display A3 line.

Coherent has recently developed a new LLO device called 'UV Blade 1000' that reduces the cost of ownership by as much as 30 ~ 40% compared to the existing LLO linebeam.

UV Blade 1000 adopts the 'Pulse on Demand' method, in which laser pulses are generated only when necessary in the process of removing the film substrate from the glass. Since the laser is powered only at the required moment, the electricity and consumables prices are reduced, and the lifetime is increased. This reduces production costs.

Flex tubes, which can be utilized in LLO equipment, have also made the laser tube used in existing ELA equipment more economical. Since the number of laser pulses required in the LLO process is much less than that of the ELA process, the lifetime of the laser tube is dramatically lengthened, and can be greater than one year for LLO.

Coherent recently introduced a new excimer laser for LLO to display makers, including Samsung Display, and is preparing to enter the market.

"We are expecting a good response in the domestic and overseas markets because of the technological advantages of excimer laser plus its extraordinary price competitiveness."

Staff Reporter Bae, Okjin |

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