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UK microLED maker to use Oxford Instruments ALD tech


UK manufacturer to use ALD to make augmented reality and advanced consumer devices

Oxford Instruments’ atomic layer deposition (ALD) equipment has been installed at a UK microLED provider to support the latest consumer-immersive reality products and display devices.

The system is used to deposit high-K dielectric ultra-thin films for high-density, very high-brightness, low-power and high frame-rate RGB pixel arrays, for consumer augmented, virtual and mixed reality devices and smart watches.

The increase in demand for smaller form factor wearable devices, with high-definition displays, is fuelling significant growth in research for this industry. MicroLEDs are able to deliver die pitch sizes of <10 µm and therefore enable the miniaturisation of consumer wearable display devices, while still maintaining high image resolution.

s pitch size decreases, perimeter to area ratio proportionally increases, and the damage introduced during the mesa formation and isolation step becomes a performance limiting factor. At the 2023 International Conference on Nitride Semiconductors (ICNS), Fukuoka, Japan, numerous presentations were given highlighting the benefits of Plasma ALD for counteracting damage. Plasma ALD was also shown to significantly increase external quantum efficiency, the key material performance measure, with ALD described by experts as critical to miniature light emitters.

"We are very pleased that our low-damage Plasma ALD technology is gaining market traction on our 200 mm capable platform. Our Plasma ALD high-K passivation solution is optimised for smaller dies with smaller active areas, and was shown in some cases by our customers at ICNS to double external quantum efficiency. Small form factor high-performance microLEDs are a critical component in head-mounted displays for virtual reality, and other advanced devices such as smart watches, and our technology is enabling some of the most desirable and advanced consumer devices.” Klaas Wisniewski, Oxford Instruments Strategic Business Development director.

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