EV Group and Eulitha collaborate on nanopatterning tool for LED manufacturing

EV Group has announced a joint development agreement with Eulitha AG, whereby the companies will combine their expertise in nanolithography to develop a full-field exposure tool for patterning sapphire substrates.

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EV Group (EVG), a supplier of lithography and wafer bonding equipment based in St. Florian, Austria, has announced that it has signed a joint-development and licensing agreement with Eulitha AG, a producer of nanopatterned wafers using EUV interference techniques.

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EVG will integrate Eulitha's Phable mask-based ultraviolet (UV) photolithography technology with EVG's automated mask aligner product platform with the goal of developing a low-cost-of-ownership nanopatterning process to be used to manufacture high-brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs). First products are expected to ship later this year.

According to LED market research firm Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, Calif.), the market for HB-LEDs is expected to grow from $11.2 billion in 2010 to $16.2 billion in 2014, driven by applications such as TV backlighting, mobile devices and general lighting. To meet this increased demand, LED manufacturers need to improve lighting efficiency while reducing manufacturing cost.

The system will combine Eulitha's full-field exposure technology with EVG's established mask alignment platform (EVG620) to provide automated fabrication of photonic nanostructures over large areas, and support the production of energy efficient LEDs, solar cells and liquid crystal displays. It combines the low-cost, ease-of-use and non-contact capabilities of proximity lithography with sub-micron resolution — making it ideally suited for use in patterning sapphire substrates in order to enhance the light extraction of LED devices.

"We believe the synergies of our respective technologies have great potential to provide the resolution and volume-production capabilities of lithography steppers at a fraction of the cost — enabling LED, optics and photonics manufacturers with extremely tight cost constraints the opportunity to extend their technology roadmaps to higher levels of performance," stated Harun Solak, CEO of Eulitha.

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