A new manufacturing process that uses robots to assemble lutetium fine silicate (LFS) crystal arrays has been developed by Zecotek Photonics Inc., positioning the company and its partners for photodetector device expansion. "By introducing robotic automation into manufacturing process, we are now able to produce LFS crystal arrays much faster and cheaper than before," said Dr. A.F. Zerrouk, chairman, president and CEO of Zecotek. "The importance of accuracy and precision of LFS crystal arrays cannot be overstated." The Beijing Opto-Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. (BOET) is the main supplier and grower of Zecotek's LFS scintillation crystals using the Czochralski method with Zecotek modifications. The growing method produces large-diameter boules with uniform properties and no cracking, yielding a large number of high-quality elements from each boule. "A key element to having an effective detector module is to ensure proper matching of the crystal array to a photodetector array," Zerrouk said. "Issues such as trying to maintain pitch associated with array construction are not a concern when using our new robotic technique." Zecotek’s Singapore laboratory cuts, polishes and assembles the arrays, eliminating manual steps in the array assembly process. As a result, labor costs, errors and waste are reduced. BOET has added crystal-growing ovens to its operation, citing a need to prepare for increased demand. Scintillation crystal array assemblies are used by positron emission tomography scanner OEMs, development groups and high-energy physics organizations. Zecotek is a manufacturer of laser, imaging and 3D display products for the industrial, scientific and medical markets. BOET is a supplier of semiconductor display technologies, products and services for the electronic and digital information industries.