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  • Aixtron to Install OLED Tool
Nov 2007
AACHEN, Germany, Nov. 15, 2007 -- Aixtron AG, an Aachen-based provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, has received an order for a system to fabricate OLED lighting and organic photovoltaic products from the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) in Dresden, Germany, a research center for organic material-based research. It will be the core fabrication tool for the IPMS Center for Organic Materials and Electronic Devices Dresden (COMEDD), which opened in September.

Aixtron will work with OLED equipment provider Sunic System Ltd. of South Korea on the pilot system, which will be comprised of clusters of thermal evaporation and organic vapor phase deposition (OVPD) modules and designed for efficient materials usage and flexibility in substrate format and organic stack. The usable substrate size is 370 x 470 mm² on glass substrates and foils, and the targeted tact time (time needed to manufacture a unit) is three minutes, for an annual capacity of approximately 13,000 m², Aixtron said in a statement. It is one of the first pilot production systems for OLED lighting and organic-based solar cells in the world, the company said.

"The order of the system is a key milestone for our future activities," said Joerg Amelung, business unit manager at the Fraunhofer IPMS. "It allows us to develop novel organic-based lighting solutions within pilot production scale surroundings." To speed up the time to market for OLED lighting, organic solar cells and OLED-on-CMOS-devices, the Fraunhofer IPMS is building three pilot production lines. Germany's state and federal government and the EU are investing €25 million into COMEDD to establish a European institution for R&D and pilot production of small-molecule organic devices.

Karl Leo, director of the IPMS, said, "The organic lighting and photovoltaic industries will only work if we manufacture here in Europe, not just do design and research. The center wants to be the key partner for the European industry to develop fabrication-related processes up to a pilot fabrication level. Only such advanced tools allow to reach the R&D level we need here to support the necessary development."

Bernd Schulte, Aixtron's executive vice president and chief operating officer, added, "The integration of an OVPD module is a milestone for our business to integrate next-generation fabrication technology into new market segments."

Next to conventional inorganic LEDs, OLEDs are considered the second solid-state-lighting technology for new flat, large-area and efficient lightin, opening a window for rapidly growing, large markets.

"First promising demonstrators were shown by Fraunhofer IPMS so far, but the current OLED technology has to advance in terms of manufacturing costs and integration aspects," Aixtron said. In September, the IPMS demonstrated SM-OLED lighting modules with dimensions of 80 x 20 cm² (subdivided in four panels). The active area is 1100 cm², the light output 250 lm.

"In the mid- and long term future, organic-based solar cells also show a large market potential," Aixtron said. "Such modules will be low-cost, lightweight and flexible in shape. Due to the low-cost materials and close-to-room temperature manufacturing processes, a short energy payback time is expected."

Aixtron has an exclusive license for OVPD technology used in equipment manufacture from Universal Display Corp., a Ewing, N.J., flat-panel display maker. OVPD technology is based on an invention by Stephen R. Forrest et. al. at Princeton University that was licensed to Universal Display Corp. The companies have jointly developed and qualified OVPD pre-production equipment.

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The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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