Fremont, Calif., August 8, 2003. - New Wave Research has been awarded United States patent 6,580,054 for its method of scribing sapphire substrates. The patent covers scribing sapphire substrates using solid-state UV lasers. More than 50 items are claimed, including all the hardware configurations, processes and parameters used in the company's AccuScribe sapphire wafer scribing systems.
These items include wavelength, repetition rate, energy density, spot size, pulse duration, movable X-Y stages and edge detection. "Our process reduces the overall cost of LED manufacturing by decreasing the number of consumables and improving yield. And with the approval of this patent, this method is now unique to New Wave Research," said May Su, New Wave Research vice president of marketing.
New Wave Research has incorporated this scribing method into its successful AccuScribe wafer scribing system. This system has dominated the market since its initial introduction in 2002, with more than 30 units installed in worldwide.
The AccuScribe system reduces LED production costs by lowering cost of ownership by 25-50% compared to scribing systems that use diamond scribes and saws. The reduction in scribe cost over traditional diamond scribing technologies can be attributed to a number of factors. Primarily, while the hardness of sapphire causes diamond scribe tips to quickly degrade and demand constant maintenance, AccuScribe units require very little maintenance. In addition, the accuracy and repeatability inherent in laser processing produces a consistently higher yield.
LED manufacturers have tried other laser-based sapphire scribing methods in the past, but cost and performance were deemed inadequate; specifically, excimer lasers, which require consumable gases, are substantially more expensive to operate and maintain than solid-state lasers.
Established in 1990, New Wave Research creates, develops, and manufactures high-quality, laser-based systems and modules for microelectronics and analytical instrumentation applications.
For more information, visit www.new-wave.com .
Laser Focus World