From night vision to “metaverse” entrance equipment, ALD optical coatings continue to break through technology and market boundaries
With the innovative development of various types of lenses, Display equipment, biometric technology products, 5G communication technology and terminal equipment, as well as AR/VR and other consumer terminals that have recently attracted much attention in the future “metaverse” important scene entrance equipment The technical process and cost-effective requirements of coating equipment are also getting higher and higher.
At the recently concluded 23rd China International Optoelectronics Expo (hereinafter referred to as CIOE2021), the industry-leading ALD equipment manufacturer and service provider – Qingdao Sifang Sirui Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Sirui Intelligence or SRII) brought its Beneq One of the brand’s key display contents includes the optical coating application of ALD (atomic layer deposition technology), which has attracted widespread attention from industry professionals due to its excellent film thickness uniformity, shape retention and high cost performance.
Figure 1: SIRUI participated in the 23rd China International Optoelectronic Expo with its Beneq brand
Figure 2: The new application of ALD optical coating has attracted widespread attention in the industry
ALD optical coating application has its unique advantages, atomic layer deposition technology is suitable for depositing high conformal, High density, high uniformity optical films. This characteristic effectively makes up for the deficiencies of the existing PVD coating technology, and is receiving more and more attention in the field of modern optical coating.
Figure 3: ALD technology can be used for bulk coating of arbitrary shaped optics, spherical lenses, gratings, and more
Beneq, a subsidiary of SIRUI Intelligence, has more than ten years of experience in developing atomic layer deposition equipment suitable for the industrial production of optical coatings. It is the earliest pioneer of ALD technology and equipment in optical applications, and has accumulated a lot. The P400A, P800, P1500, C2R atomic layer deposition equipment series designed and manufactured by the company overcome the limitations of the same kind of atomic layer deposition equipment, such as slow deposition rate, incompatibility with large-scale products, and difficulty in mass production, and can fully meet the requirements of modern optical scale, high The production needs of the required coated products.
Figure 4: Product Feature Comparison of Beneq P-Series ALD Devices
Liu Chunliang, Sales Director of SIRUI Smart China, said that Beneq P series ALD equipment is very mature, and it is suitable for some large-scale products, such as hundreds or even thousands of pieces at a time, and the production capacity is considerable. Moreover, the series are equipped with high-capacity reactors, which are ideal tools from the research and development stage to large-scale industrial production. In addition, P-Series equipment supports configuration options for custom chambers for a variety of substrates; and chambers are easily replaceable, minimizing downtime for maintenance.
In order to further improve the coating speed of ALD to be comparable to traditional PVD, Beneq also demonstrated the latest C2R Rotational Plasma Enhanced ALD (PEALD) at this CIOE. The C2R series is a combination of space ALD technology and plasma technology. , which is the first of SIRUI Intelligence, and is currently unique in the entire ALD industry.
Figure 5: Beneq C2R devices offer customers a range of technological advantages
Compared with the P series, the output of each batch of C2R equipment is relatively small. For example, an 8-inch wafer can make 7 wafers at a time, but the deposition rate is very fast. It can deposit a few microns thick film per hour, which can be compared with traditional PVD. Many customers were pleasantly surprised by the comparable deposition rate. “C2R and P series have their own advantages, and they complement each other well to meet the needs of different customers. Therefore, many customers came to this exhibition to learn about and negotiate.” Liu Chunliang said.
Continue to expand application boundaries to empower industrial and consumer optical technology innovation
According to Liu Chunliang, one of the areas where SIRUI’s ALD equipment has been successfully applied in the last two years is the production of night vision products in terms of Chinese customer applications. By depositing high conformal resistance and emissive layer thin film materials in large-area, high-aspect-ratio microchannel plates, SIRUI’s ALD equipment greatly increases the secondary electron yield of the microchannel plate and enhances its product performance. “For example, the electron emission layer is deposited in the microchannel plate, and then some thin oxide materials can be made in some micropores through the ALD film. This oxide material is conducive to the multiplication of photons and can turn weak light into relatively strong light. Light, realize the amplification of light. We have helped some well-known domestic and foreign night vision product production companies to achieve good results in terms of product quality and economic benefits.” He emphasized.
Figure 6: Liu Chunliang, Sales Director of SIRUI Smart China
Not only that, SIRUI also provides ALD layer deposition equipment for industrial vision system suppliers of well-known sensors in China, which are mainly used to deposit micron-thick low-refractive index and high-refractive index material optical stacks on curved surfaces (glass cylinders). For the production of near-infrared (NIR) filters. The company’s main application for optical system manufacturers is filling diffraction gratings with highly refractive materials, producing flat grating structures and keeping them clean. At the same time, SIRUI’s ALD equipment is also favored by more and more camera lens manufacturers, mainly used to deposit uniform AR and AR film materials on small curved lenses. In addition, SIRUI has a wide range of applications in the fields of silicon-based micro-display (Micro-OLED) thin film packaging, the production of LED DBR reflectors, and the protective coating of core components of semiconductor equipment.
Recently, there has been a lot of news that well-known companies with the prefix A in the industry will use Micro-OLED in their future AR and VR terminal perspective glasses. In fact, Micro-OLED must use ALD equipment, which has improved its overall performance. Recognized by the industry. So far, ALD has been a necessary production process for Micro-OLED.
Chen Xianglong, deputy general manager of SIRUI, explained that ALD is often connected in series on the Micro-OLED distillation production line. After the luminescent material is evaporated, ALD is used for thin-film packaging. Here, one of the biggest advantages of ALD is used—that is, it can be very dense. good protective film. In this case, it can effectively block water and oxygen, increasing the lifespan of the OLED.
Figure 7: Chen Xianglong, Deputy General Manager of SIRUI Intelligence
In the Micro-OLED market, SIRUI occupies almost 90% of the entire market, and is undoubtedly a pioneer in this industry. “The earliest thin-film packaging equipment used by R&D customers in the world is our ALD equipment. From the initial R&D to the final production, we have participated in the whole process. In China, too, such as Shanghai University Display R&D Center, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou New Technology Co., Ltd. The packaging equipment in the world, as well as in Fuzhou University, basically the front-end R&D equipment is our ALD equipment, from early R&D to final production, we cooperate and participate in the whole process to help customers succeed.” Chen Xianglong said.
Of course, SIRUI’s ALD equipment is not only focused on the above-mentioned major optical coating applications, the company hopes to continuously expand the scope of services, and can create a one-stop, one-stop, System-level ALD solution provider.
SIRUI is very active in the localization of the entire technology, and has also built a very strong R&D team and technical support team in China. The company has established semiconductor laboratories in Qingdao and Shanghai. As an equipment manufacturing enterprise, SIRUI hopes to provide local customers with not only one equipment but a complete set of R&D through localized technical teams and localized laboratories. Services, from proof-of-concept to pilot-tested services, to final turnkey device solutions.
Chen Xianglong said frankly: “We also hope that through our localized technical capabilities, we can maintain good stickiness with customers, and at the same time, we can bring the accumulated dividends of our Finnish wholly-owned subsidiary Beneq in the past 40 years to Chinese customers. “
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