Ultra-pure sputtering targets for UHD screens

Transistors in ultra-high definition displays (UHD) possess particularly fine structures. Only extremely pure sputtering targets are suitable for use as the input materials for the fine conductor paths. “UHD-ready” will be the motto when Plansee present their ultra-pure coating materials at Touch Taiwan.

Ultra-high definition is a digital video format that transmits images at widths of up to 4000 pixels. Display manufacturers are now supplying the necessary hardware in the form of UHD screens. The advent of UHD technology is bringing with it more stringent requirements with respect to the purity of the materials used, such as molybdenum.

Molybdenum is a key component of the layer system in a thin film transistor and helps to determine the color with which an LED is illuminated. There are several million of these transistors in a single UHD screen. Ulrich Lausecker, Head of the Coating Business Unit at Plansee explains: “Any foreign particle in the thin film material is huge in relation to the fine transistor structures. Even the slightest contamination of the molybdenum layer can cause whole pixels to fail.”

The company is one of the leading manufacturers of molybdenum sputtering targets. When processed, these targets form key layers in the transistor system. Plansee is the only manufacturer to supply molybdenum at a guaranteed purity of 99.97 percent. As a rule, the material is even purer than this. Which means that Plansee’s sputtering targets are ready for ultra-high definition technology.

In-house production guarantees the highest levels of material purity

This is made possible by the proprietary production process. At Plansee, this starts with molybdenum trioxide, in other words shortly after the ore has been processed. In-house reduction processes then allow to convert this to extremely pure molybdenum powder. And Plansee is also responsible for further downstream process steps such as pressing, sintering and forming sputtering targets. Before the sputtering targets are delivered to the customers, Plansee bond them in their own machine shops in Asia.

Because all the production steps are kept in house, Plansee is able to control the quality of the material right from the start in a way that no other target manufacturer can.

“Even the raw material itself comes from part of our family,” said Lausecker. “The Plansee Group has a 14 percent stake in the Chilean company Molymet, the largest molybdenum ore processor in the world.”

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