Production laser deposition equipment developer Solmates announced that it has sold a small panel (200x200 mm) PLD tool to CSOT, to be used in the company's pilot OLED line that is being built in Wuhan, China. CSOT will use the new tool to deposit the ITO electrodes on OLED displays.
Solmates patented the process of OLED ITO electrode deposition using PLD and has developed the technology that enables large-area deposition of ITO on room temperatures. The PLD process results in very high quality ITO deposition and Solmates says that the achieved transparency is higher than currently used methods. Solmates' tool will be placed in CSOT's new cluster tool that is place in Wuhan since the end of 2016. Solmates will deliver the tool in June 2017. The current tool is used for R&D, but the technology can be scaled to larger substrates and to be used in production systems.
CSOT will use this tool for ITO deposition, but it can also be configured to deposit the in-organic layers of the encapsulation layer - a task currently being done by either PECVD or ALD technologies.
CSOT, a subsidiary of TCL, announced its 6-Gen LTPS fab in Wuhan in July 2015. This fab, used to produce both LCDs and OLED panels, will have a total cost of $2.6 billion. The new R&D line that uses the new PLD tool is placed in the same location and will be used to develop new technologies and improve the company's OLED manufacturing process.