Gigaphoton Inc., a major semiconductor lithography light source manufacturer, announced the successful development of a new series of excimer lasers, the GIGANEX series, an application of Gigaphoton’s highly reliable semiconductor lithography excimer laser technology. In addition, Gigaphoton announced shipment for low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) at large-scale liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturing plants, mounting the GIGANEX excimer lasers on ultra-compact laser annealing equipment from V-Technology Co., Ltd., a company listed in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange as 7717.
In recent years, Gigaphoton has continued its development work to apply the technologies that arose with the semiconductor lithography excimer laser program to other fields. It has succeeded in developing an excimer laser for use in the ultra-compact laser annealing process for amorphous silicon (a-Si) membranes in FPD manufacturing. A prototype of this new excimer laser, successfully resulting from this development program and known as GIGANEX, has been delivered to a panel manufacturer. It was subsequently used to great effect, to create a prototype, in use at Display Week 2016, held this year from May 22 to 27 in the United States.
The new GIGANEX series excimer lasers for annealing was developed for exclusive use with equipment from V-Technology for use as a light source during the ultra-compact laser annealing process. By incorporating the ultra-compact laser annealing process characteristics into the existing a-Si panel manufacturing process to crystallize the a-Si into poly-silicon (p-Si), enables the manufacturing of incredibly detailed panels, such as 8K panels, which were previously impossible to create using older a-Si processes. The new process is also suited to larger panel production, affording support for large-scale manufacturing plants that manufacture TV panels ranging from 50 to 70 inches, diagonally. This could not have been possible with existing laser annealing processes.
Gigaphoton President and CEO Hitoshi Tomaru notes that he is extremely happy that Gigaphoton’s excimer laser, GIGANEX, has, ahead of its entry into new industries, advanced into the FPD industry and greatly contributed to the success of an LTPS thin-film transistor LCD panel prototype. He went on to say that, moving forward, GIGANEX will become a new solution for flat-panel display (FPD) manufacturing, and that he expects great things for the industry.
The new GIGANEX excimer laser, which was developed using the immense technical prowess that resulted from Gigaphoton’s experience with semiconductor lithography, is a new brand of excimer laser that targets many fields, beyond FPD manufacturing, flexible device processes, and lithography. Working together with Gigaphoton’s partner companies to give rise to new innovations, Gigaphoton will rely on GIGANEX to provide unique solutions, expanding the possibilities for excimer lasers.