The US Display Consortium (San Jose, CA) has entered into a cooperative technology agreement with sputtering system manufacturer Intevac Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) for the development of process technology and equipment subsystems for flat panel display (FPD) manufacturing. The program is budgeted at $2.2 million, with the consortium funding $1.1 million and Intevac funding the remaining $1.1 million.
Intevac will develop sputtering process technology and equipment for insulator deposition and for rapid thermal processing (RTP) of phosphors, which are required steps in fabricating thin film electroluminescent (TFEL) devices. The new equipment is scheduled to be installed at beta site in 1999.
According to the USDC, the application of alternative reactive sputtering technologies, such as pulsed DC magnetrons or dual magnetron subsystems, should allow for increased film quality and throughput, and lower cost of ownership for the deposition of insulators in TFEL devices. The application of the RTP technology and equipment could potentially improve and accelerate the phosphor annealing process, further reducing TFEL manufacturing costs."
The USDC is a cooperative industry/government effort aimed at developing an infrastructure to support an American flat panel display industry. The selection of this development project stems directly from the USDC's National Technology Roadmap, in particular the topic of electroluminescent displays.