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Spotlight On Flat Panel Display Manufacturing Solutions from Advanced Energy

Posted May 28, 2019 by Advanced Energy Editor

FPDs – Thin, Light & Just About Everywhere

You carry them in your pocket, mount them on the wall in your home, watch them at sports bars and, if you use a computer for work, rely on them to earn a living. Interactive flat panel displays (FPDs) are even a feature of today’s vehicles.

FPDs may be virtually ubiquitous, but that doesn’t mean they are easy to manufacture. Process temperature must be tightly controlled to maximize reproducibility and continuously adjusted to attain quality benchmarks. Electric charges can build up during the process, creating product-devastating arcs. Plasma control and plasma chamber cleaning are critical to uniformity and yield. In addition to the technical challenges, consumers expect prices to decrease as technologies mature, and so there always is pressure to minimize installed costs to meet both customer expectations and revenue targets.

Big Panels Create Big Process Control Demands

In the semiconductor world, fabrication centers on achieving smaller architectures of higher density and power. For FDPs, increasing size while maintaining flawless resolution is often the focus of development. Scaling up the size of the end-product – think 60-inch TV screens or industrial displays – and supporting innovation such as OLED and folding screens is essential to competitive differentiation.

It’s also important to keep in mind that there are multiple FPD applications. Manufacturers need tools that cover different processes over a range of applications to achieve lowest operating and installed costs. To that end, we’ve developed a suite of DC, pulsed-DC, and low-frequency AC power supplies that deliver remarkable process consistency and control for high yield and significantly reduced variation in thin films.

  • Ascent® AMS Series – Available in 30, 40, and 60 kW DC power ratings, Ascent AMS delivers stable, repeatable power regardless of process material or cathode design. A combined water/air cooling design keeps the generator footprint to a minimum.
  • Ascent® DMS Series – A field-proven solution for any dual-magnetron sputtering application, Ascent DMS is modular and scalable (offered in 40, 60, and 120 kW models configurable up to 180 kW). Ascent DMS features include selectable frequency (500 Hz to 50 kHz), regulation mode, and duty cycle.
  • Ascent® AP Series – Ascent AP is the most advanced DC pulsing technology available. Designed for low-power operation required for extremely thin and sensitive films, Ascent AP couples arc prevention with arc handling to minimize arcing while enhancing deposition rate, film flatness, and packing density

Thyristors Complete the System & Solution

Controlling the temperature of a glass melting tank and sputtering or annealing processes calls for low-ripple power, rapid arc response and flexible programming capabilities. AE’s power supplies for flat panel displays are purpose-built for those requirements. However, a critical component of the overall system is the thyristor. We mention this because we recently made available an article discussing how Siemens is using our Thyro-PX digital SCR power controller in a multi-zone control system in which “temperatures well above 1000°C with a tolerance of <0.2°C must be maintained during the process.” It’s an excellent use case that could directly or indirectly apply to your application.

You can hear more about what Bernhard Saftig, Head of Vertical Glass at Siemens, thinks about AE’s FPD power and control systems here, including how Siemens intends to use them in their Industry 4.0 solutions.

And, you can learn more about Advanced Energy’s power solutions for flat panel manufacturing processes by visiting the Flat Panel Display page on Advanced Energy’s web site.


Advanced Energy Editor

Advanced Energy

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