Advanced Imaging


Industry News

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

1400; A New Optical Metrology System for Large LCD Image Mask Manufacturers

Business Wire
via NewsEdge Corporation

SID 2006 FAIRPORT, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 25, 2006--Corning Tropel Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW), today announced the introduction of the FlatMaster(R) 1400 Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Image Mask Flatness Metrology System. Corning Tropel is an industry leader in providing flatness measurement technology and has expanded its capabilities to include the measurement of large LCD image masks. The FlatMaster 1400 provides full-surface flatness measurements for LCD image masks with superior speed, repeatability and accuracy to meet next generation flatness requirements.

With its non-contact, grazing incidence, stitching interferometer based on Corning Tropel's existing FlatMaster technology, the FlatMaster 1400 rasters the surface of the image mask and stitches together a series of 200 mm x 200 mm measurements. The result is complete surface analysis for image masks up to 1220 mm x 1400 mm and larger.

Designed for LCD image mask manufacturers, the FlatMaster 1400 enables manufacturers to monitor and improve their manufacturing processes from grinding through final polish. "The FlatMaster 1400 is a clear enabler of process improvements," stated Erik Jensen, sales manager, Corning Tropel Metrology Instruments. He continued, "This system allows an image mask to be quickly measured to determine if the manufacturing process is under control, and then to make adjustments to the process if necessary."

The demand for higher resolution and larger physical sizes of today's electronics, such as flat panel televisions and computer displays, requires larger and flatter image masks. An LCD image mask is a substrate that contains a pattern that is projected onto flat glass panels, which become the circuitry for the display. When printing or exposing small images, the depth of focus is narrow. In order to produce sharp, in-focus images in a narrow depth of focus, the image mask must be extremely flat.

"If it cannot be measured, it cannot be manufactured, especially if the flatness specification is less than ten micrometers over the entire surface of the image mask," said Tom Dunn, engineering manager for Corning Tropel. "The flatness of the entire surface must be known, as the information received from a custom line scan profiler or a small sample of points from a coordinate measuring machine is not sufficient. Corning Tropel's FlatMaster 1400 quickly provides an accurate measurement of the flatness for the complete surface with superior repeatability and accuracy."

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