EV Group (EVG), a supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment, together with the Korea National NanoFab Center (President Jae Young Lee, NNFC), a nano-technology R&D infrastructure for academia, research institutes and the industry, announced preliminary results on improved transparent nanostructured anti-reflective coatings for next-generation displays. The ongoing work has been carried out within a joint-development program (JDP) established between the two partners in November 2015. This collaborative research has been partly funded by the Nano-Open-Innovation-Lab Project of the NNFC.
The goal of the EVG-NNFC JDP is the development of optimized materials, the process technology for structure replication, and the industrial implementation of the AR coatings for large-area substrates. The NNFC research team under its director Dr. Jae Hong Park is responsible for the development of the materials and the “reversible nano-molding” process, which can be compatible with EVG’s proprietary SmartNIL UV-nanoimprint lithography (UV-NIL) technology. EVG is responsible for optimizing the UV-NIL replication process and transferring the technology from the R&D phase on current 200mm round substrates to large panel sizes.
Outstanding preliminary results
EVG and the NNFC have successfully demonstrated an anti-reflective coating with excellent structure replication that provides over 97-percent transmittance and a surface hardness of 3H, which is superior to most other polymeric coatings. By contrast, current commercial thin-film coatings only provide up to 92-percent transmittance. The JDP partners achieved these results by applying EVG’s SmartNIL technology on 200-mm round substrates using a polymer material developed by the NNFC. This material was developed for performing the reversible nano molding process at the NNFC, and is compliant with commercial standards for display coating.
In the next phase of the program, EVG and the NNFC plan to promote these promising results to initiate partnerships with end-users that are interested in joining the JDP to help commercialize the new AR coating. The goal of this next phase is the qualification of the novel anti-reflective coating technology for industrial use through the NNFC, and the implementation of the process by EVG to high-volume panel manufacturing on large screen sizes, such as Gen 2 (370 mm x 470 mm) panels and beyond. In addition to this specific project, EVG and the NNFC plan to investigate other application areas leveraging nanostructures and NIL technology.
“As part of our Triple-i philosophy of invent-innovate-implement, EV Group has a long history of engagements with groups across the nanotechnology value chain–from research institutes and materials suppliers to manufacturers–to develop new processes and devices, and bring them into production,” stated WeonSik Yang, general manager of EV Group Korea, Ltd. “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this level of cooperation with our partners in Korea, namely the NNFC, and see the efforts of our previous cooperation bearing fruit. On behalf of EVG, I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to Dr. Jae Hong Park as well as NNFC President Jae Young Lee for their dedication and support for this project. We look forward to working with local industrial partners to commercialize this novel display coating technology and process to support large-area display manufacturing.”
EVG and the NNFC presented the results of this JDP at the recent NANO KOREA symposium and exhibition in Goyang, Korea. A copy of the poster summarizing the results can be downloaded at http://www.evgroup.com/en/about/news/2016_12_NNFC/.
The National NanoFab Center (NNFC) is a nanotechnology and semiconductors R&D center, located in Daejeon City, Korea.