TWI611855B - Optimization of high resolution digitally encoded laser scanners for fine feature marking - Google Patents

Optimization of high resolution digitally encoded laser scanners for fine feature marking Download PDF

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Publication number
TWI611855B
TWI611855B TW103130968A TW103130968A TWI611855B TW I611855 B TWI611855 B TW I611855B TW 103130968 A TW103130968 A TW 103130968A TW 103130968 A TW103130968 A TW 103130968A TW I611855 B TWI611855 B TW I611855B
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Taiwan
Prior art keywords
scan
laser beam
laser
beam
layer
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TW103130968A
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Chinese (zh)
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TW201518021A (en
Inventor
肯 葛羅斯
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n萊特股份有限公司
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Priority to US61/875,679 priority
Priority to US14/323,954 priority patent/US9842665B2/en
Priority to US14/323,954 priority
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Publication of TWI611855B publication Critical patent/TWI611855B/en

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Abstract

The laser scanning system and its usage are disclosed herein. In some embodiments, a laser scanning system can be used to ablate or non-ablatively scan a surface of a material. Some embodiments include a method of scanning a multilayer structure. Some embodiments include a translation-focus adjustment optical system for varying the laser beam diameter. Some embodiments utilize a 20-bit laser scanning system.

Description

Optimization of high resolution digitally encoded laser scanners for fine feature pattern marking

The present disclosure relates generally to laser patterning, and more specifically to encoding laser scanner optimization for high resolution digital patterns for fine feature pattern marking.

Related application cross reference

This application is part of a continuation of U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/030,799 and PCT Application No. PCT/US2013/060470, both of which were filed on September 18, 2013, and filed on May 2, 2013 Priority is given to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 61/818,881, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

This application is a continuation of the PCT Application No. PCT/US2014/017841, filed on Feb. 21, 2014, which is hereby incorporated by reference. And priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 61/875,679, filed on Sep. 9, 2013.

This application is a continuation of the PCT Application No. PCT/US2014/017836, filed on Feb. 21, 2014, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety in its entirety in U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/818,881, filed on May 2, 2013, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/767,420, filed on Feb. 21, 2013.

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 61/875,679, filed on Sep. 9, 2013.

The prior applications PCT/US2013/060470, PCT/US2014/017836, PCT/US2014/017841, 14/030,799, 61/818,881, 61/767,420, and 61/875,679 are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

The strong demand for smaller and more portable computing devices has led to substantial innovation in many corresponding areas, including touch screens for smart phones and tablets. However, there is still much room for improvement in the field of touch sensor patterning and printed electronics. Existing technologies, including photolithography, screen printing, and laser processing, have various drawbacks, in part due to the number of necessary processing steps and the cost and time involved in switching between various processing steps. In addition to the costs associated with various processing steps, photolithography and screen printing techniques also contain a number of disadvantages, including the high cost associated with expensive consumables and toxic waste. Conventional laser processing techniques also have a number of disadvantages. Unfortunately, current technology still has to produce more efficient methods and systems for processing printed electronics and touch sensors. Accordingly, there remains a need in the art for methods and systems for processing such devices that are improved without accompanying disadvantages.

The purpose of this disclosure is to meet the aforementioned needs by providing an innovative laser process format that alters the conductivity of the substrate surface without ablating its material. Accordingly, in accordance with one aspect of the present disclosure, a method for processing a transparent substrate is provided, the method comprising the steps of: generating at least one laser pulse, the laser parameters of which are selected for being disposed on the transparent substrate The non-ablative change of a conductor layer becomes a non-conductor feature pattern; The pulse is directed to the conductor layer.

In some embodiments, the laser parameters comprise a pulse length of less than about 200 ps and a pulse energy density of less than about 1.5 J/cm 2 . In some embodiments, the spot size of the pulse is varied in the range of 5 to 100 [mu]m by varying the position of the substrate relative to the incident pulse. In some embodiments, the transparent substrate comprises a protective film disposed on a surface of the substrate opposite to the conductor layer, and the protective film is not removed during the non-ablative process of the conductor layer . In some embodiments, the transparent substrate is made of a flexible polyethylene terephthalate material. In some embodiments, the non-conductor feature pattern is difficult for the naked eye of the viewer to visually distinguish or have very low visibility compared to adjacent untreated conductor layers. In some embodiments, the pulse is directed through the transparent substrate to the conductor layer. In certain embodiments, the conductor layer comprises a silver nanowire. In some embodiments, the surface roughness of the conductor layer does not substantially change after treatment with the laser pulse. In certain embodiments, the conductor layer will become non-conducting in the treated region via a selective oxidation mechanism.

In another aspect of the present disclosure, a method of changing sheet resistance of a silver nanowire conductor substrate on a flexible transparent substrate is provided, the method comprising: generating at least one laser pulse having Increasing the range of chip resistance of the conductor substrate is selected without ablating the laser parameters of the silver nanowires; and directing the pulses to the conductor substrate to provide chip resistance. In some embodiments, the flexible transparent substrate comprises a protective film disposed on a surface of the substrate opposite to the silver nanowire conductor substrate, and the protective film does not burn in the conductor substrate. It is removed by the laser pulse during the etch process. In some embodiments, it is difficult for the naked eye of the viewer to treat a region that has been processed via a plurality of laser pulses compared to adjacent untreated regions. Visually discerned or with very low visibility.

In a further aspect of the present disclosure, a method of processing a transparent substrate with a pulsed laser beam is provided, the substrate being characterized by a conductor material disposed on a selected surface thereof, the conductor material being capable of utilizing a selected parameter Pulsed laser beam undergoes non-ablative change to a non-conductor material, the method comprising the steps of: generating at least one laser pulse having the selected parameters; and directing the pulse to the conductor material on the substrate Used to create a change into a non-conductor material.

In some embodiments, the transparent substrate comprises a protective film disposed on a surface of the substrate opposite to the conductive material, and the protective film is not removed during the non-ablative process of the conductive material. . In some embodiments, the non-conducting material is difficult for the naked eye of the viewer to visually distinguish or have very low visibility compared to the untreated conductor material.

In a further aspect of the present disclosure, there is provided a method of processing a layer of conductor material of a flexible transparent substrate with a pulsed laser beam, the conductor material layer being characterized by exposure to a laser pulse having a selected laser pulse parameter Causing the conductor material to become a non-conductor material without ablatively removing the material layer, the method comprising the steps of: generating at least one laser pulse having the selected laser pulse parameters; and directing the pulse to the The layer of conductor material of the substrate. In certain embodiments, the layer of conductor material comprises a silver nanowire.

In another aspect of the present disclosure, the target surface can be processed with a laser pulse such that it is difficult to visually distinguish between the processed region and the adjacent unprocessed region unless substantially enlarged. In another aspect of the present disclosure, a protective layer, typically disposed on the surface of the substrate to be processed and removed during processing, remains intact during processing and is not removed from the substrate.

According to one aspect of the present disclosure, a method of laser patterning a multilayer structure including a substrate, a first layer disposed on the substrate, and a first layer disposed on the first layer is provided a second layer, and a third layer disposed on the second layer, the method comprising: generating at least one laser pulse, the laser parameters of which are selected for non-ablative change of a selected portion of the third layer The conductivity, 俾 causes the selected portion to become non-conducting; and directing the pulse to the multilayer structure, wherein the conductivity of the first layer is substantially unchanged by the pulse.

In certain embodiments, the first layer and the third layer comprise silver nanowires. In certain embodiments, the first layer comprises ITO. In some embodiments, the second layer is a photoresist having insulating properties. In some embodiments, the second layer is configured to protect the first layer from being affected by the conductivity change characteristics of the pulse. In some embodiments, the second layer is configured to scatter or absorb energy from the pulse. In some embodiments, the conductivity change threshold of the first layer is higher than the third layer. In some embodiments, the first layer has been overheated to increase its conductivity change threshold.

In another aspect of the present disclosure, a method of forming a multilayer stack structure includes: providing a substrate; depositing a first layer on the substrate, the first layer being conductive; and laser patterning the first layer俾 making the selected portion of the first layer non-conducting; depositing a second layer on the first layer, the second layer being insulating; depositing a third layer on the second layer, the third The layer is electrically conductive; and the non-ablative laser patterning the third layer such that the selected portion of the third layer becomes non-conducting without substantially altering the conductivity of the first layer.

In certain embodiments, the first and third layers comprise silver nanowires. In certain embodiments, the first layer comprises ITO. In some embodiments, the second layer has insulating properties Light resistance. In some embodiments, the second layer is configured to protect the first layer from altering conductivity during non-ablative laser patterning of the third layer. In some embodiments, the second layer is configured to scatter or absorb energy during non-ablative laser patterning of the third layer. In some embodiments, the conductivity change threshold of the first layer is higher than the third layer. In some embodiments, the method further includes the step of heat treating the first layer after the first layer has been laser patterned. In certain embodiments, the laser pattern of the first layer is non-ablative.

In some embodiments, an optical processing system includes: an objective lens positioned to direct a processing optical beam to a target surface; and a scanning system positioned to scan the processing optical beam span The target surface. A focus adjustment optical system includes a focus adjustment optical element and a focus actuator that is positioned to direct the optical beam to the objective lens. A focus actuator is coupled to the focus adjustment optic to translate the focus adjustment optic along an axis of the objective lens for maintaining the processing beam as the processing beam is scanned across the target surface Focus. A beam diameter actuator is positioned to translate the focus adjustment optic to define a processing beam diameter at the target surface. In some examples, a controller is coupled to the focus actuator to maintain focus of the processing beam during scanning across the target surface. In other examples, a substrate platform includes a platform actuator that is positioned to position the target surface along the axis of the objective lens. In a further example, the controller is coupled to the beam diameter actuator and the platform actuator, and the controller translates the focus adjustment optical system to the substrate based on a selected beam diameter platform. In a particular example, the beam diameter actuator produces a stepped translation of the focus adjustment optics and can translate along the axis of the objective lens to at least two positions, the at least two positions and having at least Corresponding focused beam with larger diameter to smaller diameter ratio below Diameter associated: 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 5:1, 7.5:1, or 10:1. In general, the beam diameter actuator is positioned to translate the focus adjustment optics to define at least two processing beam diameters corresponding to the silver paste conductor boundaries and the silver nanoparticle Ablative treatment and non-ablative treatment of the wire or indium tin oxide conductor layer, or vice versa. In some examples, a laser produces the processed beam, and a laser controller selects the optical beam power based on the processed beam diameters. In some examples, the focus actuator is coupled to the focus adjustment optic for translating the focus adjustment optic along the axis of the objective lens to compensate for the field curvature of the objective.

The method includes translating a focus adjustment optic along an axis of the objective lens when processing a substrate with an optical beam from an objective lens to maintain a processing beam focused on a target. A processing beam diameter is selected by translating the focus adjustment optics along the axis of the objective lens. In some examples, the processing beam diameter is selected from at least two predetermined values, wherein the predetermined values have a larger diameter to a smaller diameter ratio of at least 1.5:1. In other examples, the target is a composite having a conductor layer and a conductor boundary, wherein the at least two predetermined values comprise a first processing beam diameter and a second processing beam diameter, respectively selected It is used to treat the conductor layer and the conductor boundary. In an additional example, the first process beam diameter and the second process beam diameter are selected such that the conductor layer is non-ablative and the conductor boundary is ablated, or vice versa. In a typical application, the processing beam diameters are selected to treat one or more of a silver nanowire or indium tin oxide conductor layer and a silver paste conductor boundary. In some embodiments, the target is translated along the axis of the objective lens based on the selected processed beam diameter. In a representative example, at least two processing beam diameters are selected to process a conductor layer and a conductor boundary of a composite substrate, wherein The processing beam diameters are selected from at least two predetermined values, wherein the predetermined values have a larger diameter to a smaller diameter ratio of at least 2:1. In some examples, the first processing beam diameter and the second processing beam diameter are selected such that the conductor layer is non-ablative and the conductor boundary is ablated, or vice versa. In some examples, a method further includes selecting a first optical beam power and a second optical beam power corresponding to the first processing beam diameter and the second processing beam diameter.

In some embodiments, a method includes receiving a pattern description stored in at least one computer readable storage medium, the pattern description including a definition of at least one feature pattern associated with a scan vector; The pattern description is based on directing a laser beam over a fixed scanning area, wherein the laser beam is directed over the scanning area with a lateral displacement resolution of less than 1/20 of the diameter of the laser beam.

In some embodiments, a method includes: selecting a laser beam diameter; placing a substrate to be scanned at a scan plane associated with the selected laser beam diameter; and by Substrate scanning a laser beam having the selected laser beam diameter to expose the substrate to the laser beam, wherein the laser beam is at the scan plane to correspond to less than the laser beam An angular scan increment of 1/10 of the diameter is scanned.

In some embodiments, an apparatus includes: a laser configured to generate a processing beam; an optical system; and a scan controller configured to receive a scan pattern, the scan The pattern is defined as a plurality of scan vectors and is configured to control the optical system to direct the processing beam to a scan area having a predetermined beam diameter. In some cases, the scan controller is configured to control the optical system to scan the processing beam relative to the scan area to generate an exposure scan vector, such that the exposure scan The lateral offset between the tracing vector and an expected scan vector is less than 1/10 of the predetermined beam diameter.

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the <RTIgt;

100‧‧‧Laser Scanning System

102‧‧‧Laser source

104‧‧‧Laser beam

106‧‧‧Light

108‧‧‧Light

110‧‧‧focus control lens

112‧‧‧Shell

114‧‧‧ Focus adjustment mechanism

115‧‧‧ position

116‧‧‧ Objective lens assembly

117‧‧‧ position

118‧‧‧First reflective surface

119‧‧‧First galvanometer

120‧‧‧second reflective surface

121‧‧‧second galvanometer

122‧‧‧Substrate

124‧‧‧ optical axis

126‧‧ ‧ focus

130‧‧‧ translation platform

131‧‧‧ translation platform

140‧‧‧Control system

200‧‧‧ objective lens

204‧‧‧ plane

206‧‧‧Bend surface

208‧‧‧ axis

214‧‧‧ Focus surface

216‧‧‧ Focus surface

300‧‧‧Compound

302‧‧‧Laser beam

303‧‧‧Laser beam

304‧‧‧Laser beam

305‧‧‧The lower part

306‧‧‧Substrate

307‧‧‧ peripheral lip

308‧‧‧ surrounding conductor boundaries

310‧‧‧Conductor layer

312‧‧‧Workbench

314‧‧‧Threaded rod

316‧‧‧ hollow body

318‧‧‧Base unit

400A‧‧‧First focal plane

400B‧‧‧First focal plane

402A‧‧‧Second focal plane

402B‧‧‧second focus plane

404A‧‧‧ third focal plane

404B‧‧‧ third focal plane

406‧‧‧Laser beam

406A‧‧ ‧Laser beam configuration

406B‧‧‧Laser beam configuration

406C‧‧‧Laser beam configuration

408‧‧‧Laser beam

408A‧‧‧Laser beam

408B‧‧‧Laser beam

408C‧‧‧Laser beam

410‧‧‧Laser beam

410A‧‧‧Laser beam

410B‧‧‧Laser beam

410C‧‧‧Laser beam

412‧‧‧Laser Scanning System

600‧‧‧Control system

602‧‧•Laser beam parameter control interface

603‧‧‧Laser beam delivery system

604‧‧‧ Platform Control Interface

605‧‧‧Laser source

606‧‧‧ galvanometer control interface

607‧‧‧ processor

608‧‧‧ galvanometer control interface

609‧‧‧ memory

610‧‧‧First platform control interface

612‧‧‧Second platform control interface

614‧‧‧ galvanometer

615‧‧‧Reflective surface

616‧‧‧ galvanometer

617‧‧‧Reflective surface

618‧‧‧Base platform

628‧‧‧Focus adjustment assembly

628A‧‧‧ Focus adjustment assembly position

629‧‧‧motion control device

630‧‧‧motion control device

700‧‧‧ Computing environment

710‧‧‧Processing unit

715‧‧‧Graphic or collaborative processing unit

720‧‧‧ memory

725‧‧‧ memory

730‧‧‧Basic configuration

740‧‧‧ Storage

750‧‧‧ input device

760‧‧‧output device

770‧‧‧Communication connection

780‧‧‧Software

782‧‧‧Laser Beam Software Module

784‧‧‧Base platform motion module

786‧‧·beam scanning module

788‧‧ Field Focus Correction Module

790‧‧‧Ball diameter module

802‧‧‧ platform

806‧‧‧ lens

806A‧‧‧ lens position

808‧‧‧ Focus assembly

808A‧‧‧fixed position

810A‧‧‧Assembly stop

810B‧‧‧Assembly stop

810C‧‧‧Assembly stop

812‧‧‧ axis

814‧‧‧ objective lens

1010‧‧‧pulse laser beam

1012‧‧‧ Target

1014‧‧‧Transparent substrate

1016‧‧‧Protective layer

1018‧‧‧ Conductor layer

1020‧‧‧Processed part

1022‧‧‧Processed silver nanowire horizontal stripes

1024‧‧‧ first horizontal line

1026‧‧‧ second horizontal line

1028‧‧‧Area

1030‧‧‧Horizontal depth profile

1032‧‧‧Horizontal depth profile

2010‧‧‧Multilayer stacking structure

2012‧‧‧ substrate layer

2014‧‧‧ first floor

2016‧‧‧Second floor

2018‧‧‧ third floor

2020‧‧‧Multilayer stacking structure

2021‧‧‧pulse laser beam

2022‧‧‧Selected sections

2024‧‧‧Selected sections

2026‧‧‧ first floor

2028‧‧‧ first floor

2030‧‧‧Multilayer stacking structure

3000‧‧‧Digital Laser Scanning System

3002‧‧‧Focus plane

3004‧‧‧Focus plane

3006‧‧‧Focus plane

3008‧‧‧Laser beam

3008A‧‧‧Laser beam

3008B‧‧‧Laser beam

3008C‧‧‧Laser beam

3010‧‧‧Laser beam

3010A‧‧‧Laser beam

3010B‧‧‧Laser beam

3010C‧‧‧Laser beam

3012‧‧‧Laser beam

3012A‧‧ ‧Laser beam

3012B‧‧‧Laser beam

3012C‧‧‧Laser beam

3050‧‧‧ axis

1 is a cross-sectional view of a laser beam for processing a substrate in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure.

2 is a flow block diagram of a method in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure.

3 is a top plan view of a laser beam patterned substrate in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure.

4 is an image of overlay profile data having an unprocessed area and a processed area in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure.

5A and 5B are XPS relationship diagrams of an unprocessed area and a processed area, respectively, according to an aspect of the present disclosure.

The selected type of XPS relationship diagram in the diagram of FIG. 5B shown in FIG.

7A-7C are cross-sectional views of an exemplary stacked structure at various fabrication steps in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure.

8A-8C are cross-sectional views of an exemplary stacked structure at various fabrication steps in accordance with another aspect of the present disclosure.

9A through 9C are cross-sectional views of an exemplary stacked structure at various fabrication steps in accordance with another aspect of the present disclosure.

An exemplary laser-based processing system is shown in FIG.

The displacement shown in Figure 11 is related to the beam diameter adjustment.

The composite material shown in Fig. 12 is treated with a system such as that shown in Fig. 10.

Figure 13 shows the focal region associated with different beam diameters.

Figure 14 shows a method of treating a composite material.

Figure 15 illustrates an exemplary processing system including a control system and a laser scanning system.

Figure 16 illustrates an exemplary computing environment configured to control substrate processing with focus control and beam diameter adjustment.

Figure 17 shows a representative assembly for adjusting the beam diameter.

Figure 18 shows a laser scanning system and three focus planes.

19A and 19B each show an input pattern and a pattern actually scanned by the laser scanning system.

20A and 20B each show a plurality of straight lines scanned by a laser scanning system.

Figure 21 shows the input pattern for a laser scanning system.

An exemplary method is shown in FIG.

I. General discussion

The singular forms "a", "the", "the" In addition, the meaning of "include" is "comprise". Furthermore, the term "coupled" does not exclude the presence of intermediate components between the coupled items.

The systems, devices, and methods described herein should not be considered as limiting significance. Instead, various novel and non-obvious features and aspects of the various disclosed embodiments, as well as various combinations thereof, and sub-combinations of the various embodiments. The disclosed systems, methods, and devices are not limited to any particular point of view or feature or combination thereof. The disclosed systems, methods, and devices do not require any one or more specific advantages to be present or Or more specific issues. Any principle of operation is to assist in the explanation, and the disclosed systems, methods, and devices are not limited to these operating principles.

For convenience of presentation, some of the operations of the disclosed methods are described in a particular sequential order; however, it should be understood that unless the specific language proposed in this document requires a special ordering, this description covers re- arrangement. For example, the operations illustrated in this document may be rearranged or implemented synchronously in some cases. Moreover, for the sake of simplicity, the accompanying drawings do not show the various ways in which the disclosed systems, methods, and devices can be used in conjunction with other systems, methods, and devices. In addition, the description sometimes uses terms like "produce" and "provide" to describe the method that has been exposed. These terms are high-level abstractions of the actual operations being implemented. The actual operation corresponding to these terms will vary depending on the particular mode of implementation and will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art.

In some instances, values, procedures, or devices may be referred to as "minimum," "best," "minimum," or the like; however, it should be understood that the meaning of such descriptions means Choices are made in many of the functional alternatives used, and such selections are not necessarily preferred, smaller, or better than others.

For the purposes of this description, "top," "above," "bottom," "bottom," and similar terms are used herein to describe a particular feature of the disclosed embodiments. The purpose of these terms is not intended to mean a particular orientation, but instead is used to indicate relative position.

As used herein, the laser beam diameter is typically based on the lowest order TEM 00 mode or the l/e 2 intensity of the same power distribution. "Axis" or "optical axis" refers to the axis used to couple the optical elements. Such axes are not necessarily a single straight line segment, but may instead include a plurality of line segments corresponding to the bends and folds produced by the mirror, cymbal, or other optical component. As used herein, a lens refers to a single lens element or a multi-element (synthetic) lens.

II. Non-ablative laser patterning

Flexible substrates have the potential to be inexpensive to manufacture; however, conventional processes do not achieve such efficiencies. Accordingly, the various examples described herein are directed to fabricating processed composite films for different applications, such as transparent conductors for touch sensitive displays. For example, the step of processing the flexible composite films can be configured such that the touch sensitive regions are formed in the flexible composite film, such that the touch sensitive regions become suitable for use in various display devices. . Other suitable applications for processed substrates typically include display devices, as well as LED phosphor strengthening, other commercial and consumer lighting applications, wearable electronics, and photovoltaic cells. However, flexible substrates are particularly suitable for use in mobile consumer displays where it is highly desirable to have a thin, durable, and flexible form factor. Again, by utilizing the advances described herein, flexible film laser patterning can be achieved with a complete, unaltered protective layer to achieve a true roll-to-roll process. In some examples, the substrate can also be rigid.

Referring now to Figure 1, there is shown a cross-sectional view of a pulsed laser beam 1010 having a selected laser pulse parameter for processing a target 1012 in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure. As shown, the target 1012 includes a transparent substrate 1014, a protective layer 1016 is disposed on one side of the transparent substrate, and a thin conductor material is disposed on the other side opposite to the one side thereof. Layer 1018. In many instances, substrate 1014 has a constant or fixed thickness, for example, falling within a range between 50 [mu]m and 200 [mu]m, which is often dependent on the substrate and the application of the material(s) used. In a further example, additional layers may be provided in conjunction with the substrate 1014 and associated protective layer 1016 and thin layer 1018, for example, to form a composite substrate or a substrate in which one or more other materials or layers are disposed.

In some examples, the layer of conductor material 1018 includes a plurality of randomly arranged silver nanowires. The silver nanowires of the thin layer 1018 are typically secured to the substrate 1014 in a polymeric matrix (eg, an organic overlay coating). Laser beam 1010 delivers a laser pulse to the thin layer 1018 and creates a treated portion 1020 in which the conductivity of the material of layer 1018 changes substantially. In this paper, "conductivity" and "non-conductivity" have a general meaning in the art of printing electrons, touch sensor patterning, or photoelectrons, and will be described in more detail below.

2 is a block diagram of an exemplary method 1100 in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure. In a first step 1102, a substrate is provided with a thin conductor layer disposed thereon. The substrate is preferably transparent and flexible, but other substrates can be processed in accordance with the present disclosure without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. According to another aspect of the present disclosure, a protective layer or film may be disposed on another surface of the substrate, for example, opposite to the conductor layer, and the substrate is capable of not removing the protective layer or film. Being processed. In a second step 1104, at least one laser pulse is generated, the laser pulse parameters of which are selected to achieve a non-ablative treatment of the thin conductor layer on the substrate, such that the thin conductor layer The treated portion becomes non-conducting and the treated portion is also of low visibility. In a third step 1106, the at least one laser pulse is directed to the substrate. The processed substrate has a conductivity different from that of the unprocessed substrate, so that a special sensing region and an electrical path can be formed on the substrate. By prudence Selecting the characteristics of the laser pulse (which includes pulse parameters such as pulse length, pulse energy density, pulse energy, spot size, pulse repetition rate, and scan speed), the substrate can be processed to have its electrical characteristics pre- The manner is changed while the substrate and associated protective and conductor layers are not substantially destroyed or structurally altered by the ablative process. Accordingly, in an example of applying a protective layer (e.g., protective layer 1016), the protective layer need not be removed during processing of the substrate.

Although the beam 1010 of Figure 1 is generally shown as being sent to its focus; however, other beam geometry configurations and intensity distributions may be employed, including: unfocused beams; linear beams; square or rectangular shots. a beam; and a beam having a uniform, substantially uniform, or preselected intensity profile across one or more transverse axes. In some examples, the beam delivery system that provides the beam 1010 is also configured to translate the beam 1010 relative to the target 1012 such that the beam can form a linear feature pattern, an area feature pattern, And other geometric feature patterns. In other examples, target 1012 can be translated to form a geometric feature pattern as the beam delivery system and beam 1010 remain fixed in one or more axes. In still other examples, both target 1012 and beam 1010 can be translated. Again, in some examples, beam 1010 illuminates target 1012 from the opposite direction such that beam 1010 propagates through protective layer 1016 (if present) and substrate 1014 to cause non-ablative properties on conductor layer 1018. effect.

As used herein, ablative treatment is understood to mean the substantial removal of material from a target by evaporation, photochemical modification, or other means via an incident optical beam. Similarly, non-ablative treatment is understood to mean that the structural feature pattern of the existing target surface topology remains intact after processing, even if the electrical or other characteristics of the target change. In some cases, a non-ablative surface and adjacent non-existing The area is difficult to visually distinguish. In some examples, the non-ablative treatment of the silver nanowires does not remove or substantially remove the silver nanowires. A cover coating covering the silver nanowires is removed from the silver nanowires by laser treatment, and the process is not considered to be ablative with respect to the silver nanowires.

The laser pulse of the laser beam 1010, while causing the processed portion 1020 to become non-conducting; however, the visible features of the processed portion 1020 remain substantially unchanged. Thus, the difference between the processed portion 1020 and the untreated portion 10185 is not significant without the aid of an image enhancement mechanism that includes multiple viewing angles, such as a microscope. Referring to Figure 3, there is shown a microscope image of a top view of a substrate (e.g., substrate 1014) processed according to a representative disclosed method magnified 1500 times under monochromatic illumination. As shown in Figure 3, the treated silver nanowire horizontal stripes 1022 (almost apparent to the naked eye, even under significant magnification) are about 30 [mu]m wide. The laser pulse parameters used to provide excellent non-ablative results as shown in stripe 1022 include: a pulse length of about 50 ps, a pulse energy density of about 0.17 J/cm 2 , a spot size of about 40 μm l/e 2 , A scan rate of about 1 m/s, a pulse-to-pulse overlap of greater than 90%, a total pulse energy of about 12 μJ, and a pulse repetition rate of about 100 kHz.

The values of the laser pulse parameters mentioned above are only examples, and other parameters can be selected and optimized for different targets and systems. In addition, the parameter values can be scaled for a wide variety of processing speeds, provided that the pulse overlap and pulse energy are maintained within a range of parameters suitable for producing non-ablative non-conductor effects. Therefore, the pulse repetition rate can be increased to 1 MHz, tens of MHz, or higher in order to increase the processing speed, provided that the necessary laser and beam transfer architecture can be configured accordingly. The pulse length can be chosen to be shorter or longer, and other parameters (eg, pulse energy density) can be adjusted to ensure that the target is non-ablative A non-conductor characteristic pattern is formed. For example, possible pulse lengths include less than about 1 ps, 100 ps, 200 ps, 500 ps, 800 ps, or 1 ns. Other parameters can be changed and optimized in the same way.

After configuration, the two portions of the target 1012 above and below the strip 1022 are electrically isolated from each other due to variations in chip resistance caused by pulses from the laser beam 1010 to the processed region 1020, thereby conducting electrical conduction. The flow effectively forms a barrier. When material specifications change, other parameters can be carefully selected using trial or other optimization methods to achieve a non-ablative conductivity change perspective for the process of the present disclosure while maintaining the treated area relative to The ultra-low visibility of the processing area. The laser beam 1010 can also be modified to have a shape other than Gaussian, for example, flat-top, super-Gaussian, etc. Laser systems capable of operating the range of laser parameters of the present disclosure typically include pulsed fiber lasers, pulsed fiber amplifiers, and diode-rising solid state lasers.

Accordingly, shapes and patterns can be formed on the substrate using the methods disclosed herein to achieve electrical isolation from adjacent untreated regions. In addition to eliminating the need for masks, photoresists, etched trenches, replacements, or providing additional protective films, the use of laser or scanning lasers also provides a highly configurable process that allows for sheet-to-sheet (to sheet-to -sheet), roll to sheet, roll to roll (R2R), or roll to finished sensor. Scanning lasers can be programmed with an image file to easily modify the process for various pattern geometries and substrates or between various pattern geometries and substrates. Moreover, by utilizing the ultra-low visibility process concept described herein, it is even possible to achieve a shortened cycle time in conventional laser or chemical processes. For example, in a conventional laser process, in order to reduce the visibility of the ablated region, additional regions must undergo unnecessary processing. In order to provide a uniform pattern effect, in order to effectively reduce the overall visibility of the ablation marks to the user's naked eye. Because the processing perspective of the present disclosure results in ultra-low visibility markings, first, additional processing time associated with filling in multiple regions to reduce visibility is no longer needed, thus resulting in faster and thus A more cost effective process.

The transparent substrate 1014 can be composed of a wide variety of materials including glass, plastic, or metal. Typical substrates tend to be made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) because of its low cost and many advantageous features including transparency, flexibility, flexibility, ease of manufacture, and the like. The PET substrate can be fabricated in one or more ways known to those skilled in the art of transparent conductor film processing, and in some examples it can be provided in a reel suitable for roll-to-roll processing. A non-exhaustive list of other possible substrate materials includes glass, polyethylene naphthalate, polyurethane, and various metals. The substrate 1014 shown in Figure 3 has a thickness of about 0.13 mm and is made of polyethylene terephthalate. Within this thickness range, PET and other suitable materials are flexible and can be stored in reels of a predetermined width, shipped in reels of a predetermined width, or configured to be processed in reels of a predetermined width. The substrate 1014 is typically transparent in a visual display application such that when the substrate 1014 is later applied to a display device (not shown), light from the display device can propagate through the substrate 1014, leading to the User of the device.

In a typical example of the flexible transparent conductor film, in the laser pattern processing of the transparent conductor film, the raw stock is provided in the form of a reel or a flat sheet configuration, and therefore, the raw material is processed. The raw materials can become processed materials suitable for use in various applications (eg, optoelectronic devices). In some examples, the transparent conductor film material comprises a silver nanowire (also known as SNW or AgNW) that is deposited to a predetermined thickness or conductivity, both of which are typically produced in a film. Increase or decrease the density of the silver nanowires in the stage. In other examples, the transparent conductor film may comprise other materials or have multiple layers. Transparent conductor films are found for end use on rigid surfaces, for example, on rigid glass or composite screens. Silver nanowires are ideal for flexible substrates because of their material properties (eg, electrical conductivity and structural integrity) under various types of bending loads (eg, fixed bending, cyclic deformation, or flexibility) Sex) very consistent.

The protective layer 1016 can also be made of a different material suitable for providing protection from damage caused by particulate matter, abrasion, and scratches. The thickness of the protective layer 1016 is typically selected to provide protection for the underlying substrate 1014. One suitable thickness is about .04 mm; however, other thicknesses can also be used. Because the point of view of the present disclosure does not require removal, recoating, or replacement of the protective layer 1016 during fabrication, a protective layer 1016 comprising various materials can be used. A protective film 1016 made of polyethylene or polyethylene terephthalate is suitable for providing the necessary protection of the surface of the substrate 1014. In a conventional process, the protective layer (e.g., protective layer 1016) must be removed prior to processing the substrate 1014 and reattached or recoated after processing the substrate 1014 to avoid the intense heat provided by the laser during processing. Destroying the protective layer can result in huge additional processing time and cost. As disclosed herein, a substrate 1014 can be processed without having to remove and reattach or reapply the protective layer 1016, thereby potentially reducing the cost of innovation in processing transparent substrates, including flexible transparent substrates.

4 is a similar image of a top view of the target substrate 1014 as shown in FIG. 3, with additional surface roughness information superimposed thereon. The first horizontal line 1024 extends approximately along the middle of the treated strip 1022. The second horizontal line 1026 is adjacent to the first horizontal line 1024 by about 30 [mu]m and extends parallel to the first horizontal line 1024 along an untreated area 1018. A region 1028 at the bottom of the image includes a lateral depth profile along individual parallel lines 1024, 1026 (transverse depth profile) 1030, 1032. The depth profiles overlap each other and exhibit a minimum variation relative to each other in a common range of depths of about 0.2 [mu]m, which further confirms the non-ablative effect associated with the process according to the present disclosure. Other surfaces may have a large depth variation range depending on the quality of the substrate and the conductor surface layer; however, the variation between the treated and untreated regions is in the non-ablative process herein. The smallest.

The untreated region (Fig. 5A) of the base substrate 1014 and the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) of the treated region (Fig. 5B) shown in Figs. 5A and 5B, which are represented by bonding energy ( The binding energy is based on the number of seconds per second. XPS usually helps to explain the elemental content of the target surface and the material changes that may result from various external inputs. With some exceptions, the results for the untreated and treated regions are substantially the same in the range of bonding energy. Bonding energy spikes for AgMNN, Ag3p3/2, Ag3p1/2, and Ag3d appear in the treated region 1020, which generally indicates the presence of oxidized silver. For example, referring to Figure 6, the tie bond energy shown is a plot of kinetic energy versus photon energy centered at about 368 eV and generally represents oxide formation in the treated region. In addition, comparing various carbon species, chlorine, fluorine, oxygen, and helium signal data would envision the presence of a polymer matrix in which silver nanowires are embedded before and after processing by the laser pulses. Therefore, the organic cover coat may be selectively removed from the silver nanowires, which causes the nanowires to become oxidized and exhibit non-conducting features, while the remainder of the cover coat Keeping it virtually intact has not changed. In general, silver nanowires exhibit properties superior to conventional transparent conductor films such as Indium Tin Oxide (ITO). The transparent conductor layer 1018 is typically about tens of nanometers thick. Silver nanowires tend to be about 10 [mu]m long and have diameters ranging from a few nanometers to tens of nanometers; however, other dimensions are also possible.

The laser parameters suitable for non-ablative laser processing in accordance with the methods of the present disclosure are selected in part based on the relevant characteristics of the selected material to be processed. For example, changing the thickness of the underlying substrate, thin conductor layers, etc. can affect the possible distribution of laser pulse heat or other time dependent effects that require mitigation. The optimized process parameters will result in a treated area or feature pattern having ultra-low visibility compared to adjacent or separate untreated areas. One of the optimized areas will contain the laser pulse wavelength. The wavelength of light used to process the samples shown in the images herein is 1064 nm and is typically a preferred wavelength because the longer wavelength light will be associated with the transparent substrate, the protective film, or other materials in the vicinity. The material layer is reacted to a degree less than a shorter wavelength. Other techniques (eg, photolithography) typically require more difficult to produce or produce expensive wavelengths, such as wavelengths in the visible or UV spectrum.

These advantages can be appreciated in light of the present disclosure by processing the target substrate in accordance with the methods herein to achieve advantages over conventional fabrication techniques for processing transparent substrates.

III. Laser patterning of multilayer structures

Touch sensors typically include a film composite of various materials that are stacked together via one or more deposition or lamination processes. A wide variety of stacked configurations are possible, and various intermediate processing steps can be performed during the fabrication of the multiple layers. For example, the various multilayer structures described herein are capable of arranging the layers in a different order than those disclosed. In some embodiments, the deposited material layer can be disposed on one or both sides of a substrate. In a further embodiment, the pulsed laser beam can be incident from the opposite direction as illustrated. Different types of materials can be used for the different layers of some of the convenient examples discussed herein. It should be understood that many different configurations and variations can also be used. It falls within the scope of this disclosure.

Referring now to Figures 7A through 7C, there are shown various stages of a method of non-ablative laser processing of a multilayer material stack in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure. A multilayer stack structure 2010 is provided in FIG. 7A that includes a substrate layer 2012 made of PET or other suitable material. Structure 2010 includes a first conductive layer 2014 disposed on the substrate layer 2012. The first layer 2014 comprises a silver nanowire or another suitable conductor material. A second layer 2016 is disposed on the first layer 2014, which may be made of photoresist or other suitable insulating material. Before the insulating layer 2016 is disposed or formed on the first layer 2014, the structure 2010 is first subjected to a non-ablative laser treatment to form a selected non-conducting region comprising a straight line, a pattern, or Other geometries, this non-ablative treatment will be further described below.

The insulating layer 2016 may contain one or more dopants that enhance the ability of the layer 2016 to scatter or absorb incident laser energy in order to reduce the amount of residual energy density incident on the first layer 2014. In FIG. 7B, a third layer 2018 is disposed or formed on the second layer 2016 of the multilayer structure 2010. The third layer typically comprises a silver nanowire; however, other suitable conductor materials can be used as long as non-ablative conductivity modification is possible. One of the preferred layering methods is a silver nanowire in both the first layer 2014 and the third layer 2018. Silver nanowires offer several advantages over other materials, including features that can be treated by non-ablative lasers (as described herein) and that are capable of retaining them under deformation (eg, bending loads). For example, silver nanowires are ideal for use in flexible touch screens. In Figure 7C, a pulsed laser beam 2021 is generated with process parameters that are suitable for non-ablative modification of the target. The pulsed laser beam 2021 is directed to structure 2010 for laser processing of the structure 2010. The pulsed beam 2021 will react with the third layer 2018 of the structure 2010 without ablating the third layer 2018. The portion 2022 is selected. Upon reaction with the laser pulse from the pulsed beam 2021, the conductivity of the selected portion 2022 changes to become non-conducting. At the same time, a selected portion 2024 of the first layer 2014 located below the third layer 2018 will not experience the same change in conductivity. In addition, the selected portion 2024 is also not ablated by the beam 2021. The insulating layer 2016 can help mitigate the pulse energy received by the first layer 2014 in order to prevent material reactions that occur with conductivity modification.

A laser processing method of the multilayer stack structure 2020 according to another aspect of the present disclosure is shown in FIGS. 8A through 8C. In FIG. 8A, a stack structure 2020 includes a substrate 2012 and a first layer 2026. The first layer 2026 preferably comprises a silver nanowire. The first layer 2026 is thermally treated (shown by the downward arrow) to modify the conductivity change threshold feature of the first layer 2026 upward. Therefore, the modification threshold of the conductivity of the first layer 2026 will be higher after the heat treatment. In some examples, this conductivity modification threshold is related to the ablation threshold of the material. Various temperatures for thermal treatment can be used and the temperature can be selected or adjusted to provide different effects to the first layer 2026. In some instances, thermal treatment is performed using an oven, laser, or other thermal disposal mechanism. The thermal treatment of the first layer 2026 can result in a change in the density of the organic overcoat covering the silver nanowires in the first layer 2026, thereby increasing its energy density threshold. In FIG. 8B, structure 2020 performs a subsequent stacking step, providing a second layer 2016 at the top of first layer 2026 and a third layer 2018 at the top of second layer 2016. In Figure 8C, a pulsed laser beam 2021 is generated with process parameters that are suitable for non-ablative modification of the target. The pulsed laser beam 2021 is directed to a structure 2020 for laser processing of the structure 2020. The pulsed beam 2021 will react with the third layer 2018 of the structure 2020 without ablating the selected portion 2022 of the third layer 2018. Upon reaction with the laser pulse from the pulsed beam 2021, the conductivity of the selected portion 2022 changes to become non-conducting. Simultaneously, A selected portion 2024 of the first layer 2026 located below the third layer 2018 will not experience the same change in conductivity. In addition, the selected portion 2024 is also not ablated by the beam 2021.

Referring to Figures 9A through 9C, there is shown a laser processing method for a multilayer stack structure 2030 in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure. In FIG. 9A, a stacked structure 2030 includes a substrate 2012 and a first layer 2028. The first layer 2028 preferably comprises indium tin oxide. The first layer 2028 is ablatively treated such that portions of the first layer 2028 are removed via an ablative laser process. A second layer 2016 is disposed on the first layer 2028. In FIG. 9B, a third layer 2018 is disposed or formed on the second layer 2016. The third layer 2018 is different from the material composition of the first layer 2028, and the third layer 2018 preferably comprises a conductive silver nanowire. The third layer 2018 has a conductivity change threshold characteristic that is different from the first layer 2028 because of material differences. In Figure 9C, structure 2030 is processed by a pulsed laser beam 2021. The pulsed laser beam 2021 is produced with process parameters that are suitable for non-ablative modification of the target. The pulsed laser beam 2021 is directed to a structure 2030 for laser processing the structure 2030. The pulsed beam 2021 will react with the third layer 2018 of the structure 2030 without ablating the selected portion 2022 of the third layer 2018. Upon reaction with the laser pulse from the pulsed beam 2021, the conductivity of the selected portion 2022 changes to become non-conducting. At the same time, a selected portion 2024 of the first layer 2028 below the third layer 2018 will not experience the same change in conductivity. In addition, the selected portion 2024 is also not ablated by the beam 2021.

The non-ablative treatment of the conductor regions or conductor layers enables them to be used in touch-sensitive screens of electronic or other devices associated with printed electronics or optoelectronics, including low damage, low visibility processing or benefit from the substrate It is a device that requires precision. As used herein, "ablative" and "non-ablative" have the meanings set forth above.

In some cases, the layers of conductor material comprise a plurality of randomly arranged silver nanowires. The silver nanowires of such layers are typically secured to a substrate in a polymeric matrix (e.g., an organic overlay coating). A laser beam will deliver a laser pulse to the layer and create a treated portion wherein the conductivity of the material of the conductor layer will substantially change such that the treated portion is substantially non-conducting. As used herein, "conductivity" and "non-conductivity" have a general meaning in the art of printing electronics, touch sensor patterning, or photoelectrons, and are discussed in more detail below.

The laser pulses are directed to the composite in a variety of patterns such that a particular region and electrical path are formed on the substrate. By carefully selecting the characteristics of the laser pulse parameters (which include: pulse length, pulse energy density, pulse energy, spot size, pulse repetition rate, and scan speed), the substrate can be processed to have its electrical characteristics preset The manner is changed while the substrate and associated protective and conductor layers are not substantially destroyed or structurally altered (for example, ablative).

Exemplary laser pulse parameters suitable for non-ablative treatment of a conductor layer include: a pulse length of about 50 ps, a pulse energy density of about 0.17 J/cm 2 , a spot size of about 40 μm (l/e 2 ), A scan rate of about 1 m/s, a pulse-to-pulse overlap of greater than 90%, a total pulse energy of about 12 μJ, and a pulse repetition rate of about 100 kHz, which utilizes optical radiation at a wavelength of 1064 nm (discovered, and substrates and other materials) The degree of reaction is less than the shorter wavelength of light). Various other parameters are equally suitable. For example, the pulse repetition rate can be increased to 1 MHz, 10 MHz, or greater than 10 MHz to increase processing speed. The pulse length can be chosen to be shorter or longer. The pulse energy density can be adjusted to ensure that the target is non-ablative. Possible pulse lengths include less than about 1 ps, 100 ps, 200 ps, 500 ps, 800 ps, or 1 ns. Other parameters can be changed and optimized in the same way. Laser parameters suitable for non-ablative laser processing are selected in part based on the relevant characteristics of the selected material to be processed. For example, changing the thickness of the substrate, thin conductor layer, etc. can affect the possible distribution of laser pulse heat or other time dependent effects that need to be mitigated.

Although the beam used for processing is typically focused at the structure; however, other beam geometry configurations and intensity distributions may be employed, including: unfocused beams; linear beams; square or rectangular beams; One or more beams having a uniform, substantially uniform, or preselected intensity profile across the axis. In some cases, a composite is translated to help achieve a geometric pattern of features on its surface. In some cases, one or more laser beams will illuminate a composite from the top or back side, causing the beam to propagate through the substrate to the conductor layer, causing the beam to cause Ablative or non-ablative change of a conductor layer. In some cases, a laser pulse causes a treated portion of a conductor layer to become non-conducting, but does not alter the visible characteristics of the treated portion. Similarly, a laser pulse treats a conductor boundary in an ablative or non-ablative manner. Laser ablation at a conductor boundary can be achieved by increasing the energy content of the laser beam incident on the target surface. For example, the laser pulse parameters can be adjusted by increasing the pulse length, pulse energy density, total pulse energy, using shorter wavelengths, or reducing the spot size. Suitable laser systems typically include pulsed fiber lasers, pulsed fiber amplifiers, and diode-rising solid state lasers.

IV. Using a variable focus plan to sample the conductor film to control the feature pattern size

In some cases, a laser scanning system can be used to process materials such as composite films used in electronic devices (for example, as a touch screen in an electronic device). In one exemplary processing scenario, one or more conductor materials (for example, a layer of silver nanowires and a silver paste boundary) is deposited on a substrate, and a laser scanning system is used to process the conductor material (for example, to reduce the conductivity of portions of the conductor layer, or via The material is ablated to form various characteristic patterns). The present disclosure provides various advantages over prior art touch screen fabrication processes, including screen printing techniques and/or lithography techniques. In particular, the present disclosure allows for the processing of a body of a touch screen and its IC channel using a single laser scanning device.

The step of processing a composite film can be configured to allow a plurality of touch sensitive areas for use in various display devices to be formed in the composite film. Other suitable applications for treated materials typically include display devices, as well as LED phosphor strengthening, other commercial and consumer lighting applications, wearable electronics, and photovoltaic cells. However, composite films are particularly suitable for use in mobile consumer displays where it is highly desirable to have a thin, durable, and flexible form factor. When used as a mobile consumer device display, flexible and/or transparent composite films (and, therefore, each material layer that makes up the composite film are flexible and/or transparent) may be advantageous. However, depending on the intended use of the final product, composite films that are at least partially or very opaque and/or at least partially or very rigid may also be beneficial. The systems, devices, and processes described herein can be used to treat composite membranes regardless of the clarity and/or rigidity of the composite membrane. Composite membranes are also referred to herein as complexes.

The substrate used may be formed from a wide variety of materials. For example, the substrate can be made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) because of its low cost and many advantageous features including transparency, flexibility, flexibility, ease of manufacture, and the like. A non-exhaustive list of other possible substrate materials includes polyethylene naphthalate, polyurethanes, various glasses, and various metals. The substrate will have various thicknesses. For example, the substrate may have a thickness between about 10 [mu]m and 1 mm, or a thickness between about 50 [mu]m and 200 [mu]m, or in one particular example, a thickness of about 130 [mu]m.

In some cases, a flexible and transparent composite material comprises a substrate (for example, PET) on which a layer of silver nanowires (also known as SNW or AgNW) is deposited to a predetermined thickness or to a predetermined Conductivity is set, both of which can be achieved by increasing or decreasing the density of the silver nanowires during the production of the composite. The silver nanowire layer can have various thicknesses, for example, a thickness between about 1 nm and 100 nm, or a thickness between about 3 nm and 70 nm, or a thickness between about 30 nm and 50 nm. Silver nanowires are ideal for flexible substrates because of their material properties (eg, electrical conductivity and structural integrity) under various types of bending loads (eg, fixed bending, cyclic deformation, or flexibility) Sex) very consistent. In some cases, indium tin oxide (ITO) or other suitable materials can also be used in place of the silver nanowire.

One embodiment of a laser scanning system 100 is shown in FIG. The system 100 includes a laser source 102 in which a pair of rays 106, 108 are used to illustrate the laser beam 104. The laser beam 104 propagates along an optical axis 124, indicated by a dashed line, from which it propagates to a focus control lens 110 held by the housing 112. The lens 110 can be a single optical element, such as a plano-concave mirror or a double concave mirror; or can be a composite lens that includes two or more single lens elements. In most cases, the focus control lens 110 will produce a diverging beam; however, in some examples, the focus control lens 110 will cause the beam 104 to first aggregate to a focus and then spread as it propagates away from the focus. . Upon exiting the focus control lens 110, the beam 104 is directed along an optical axis 124 to an objective lens assembly 116 which, when the beam 104 exits the objective lens assembly 116, polymerizes the beam 104. The polymeric beam is then directed to a first reflective surface 118 that reflects the beam 104 to a second reflective surface 120 that reflects the beam to a substrate 122, and the beam 104 Focused at a focus 126 in the substrate 122. In general, beam 104 is focused on a substrate thickness At a particular portion; however, beam focusing can also be in front of or behind the substrate 122 and within the substrate 122.

As shown in FIG. 10, the reflective surfaces 118, 120 of the system 100 can be adjusted to manipulate the beam relative to the substrate 122. In one example, the surfaces 118, 120 can be reflective surfaces that are coupled to the first dynamometer 119 and the second galvanometer 121, respectively, and thus their alignment can be manipulated and controlled using a control system 140, the control System 140 provides scanning and focus control. The control system 140 is also coupled to one or more galvanometers or to other focus adjustment mechanisms 114 that shift the focus control lens 110 along the axis 124. As shown in FIG. 10, the focus control lens 110 can be moved to various positions, such as the position 115 shown in the dashed line. The focus control lens 110 provides an input beam to the objective lens assembly 116 by such movements, so that the beam is focused at an acceptable position to compensate for a non-flat focus plane or bend and/or Non-planar substrate.

While the focus control lens 110 is capable of adjusting the focus of the beam 104 at the substrate; however, it is generally not possible to perform a substantial beam shift along the axis 124. Instead, the housing 112 of the focus control lens 110 is secured to a translation platform 130 to move the focus control lens 110 along various axes 124 to various positions, such as the position 117 shown in dashed lines. Such relatively large movements of the housing 112 and the focus control lens 110 provide an extended range in which the beam 104 can be focused, and thus allow for a corresponding variation in beam spot size at a focus position. The substrate 122 will be positioned in the axis 124 by a translational stage 131 to enable the beam of various spot sizes to be focused at the substrate 122. For ease of illustration, the adjustments made by the translation stage 130 to the focus control lens 110 will be referred to as beam diameter adjustment.

The system of Figure 10 allows for maintenance even on curved or non-planar target surfaces Focus. The system shown in Figure 11 utilizes a system such as system 100 to focus an optical beam. An objective lens 200 is placed to focus the optical beam in an axis 208. For a fixed lens position and beam focusing in axis 208, the beam typically cannot be focused in a plane 204 during scanning. Instead, the scanned beam focus defines a curved surface 206. To focus on a flat substrate (or other shaped substrate), a focus control lens is adjusted to establish beam focus on plane 204 (or other surface). As shown in FIG. 11, in general, the greater the angle between the direction of the light and the axis 208 (i.e., the greater the angle a2), the greater the displacement of the actual focus from the plane 204. To change the beam spot size, for example, a translation stage 130 as shown in FIG. 10 can be utilized to translate a focus control lens. With this adjustment, a beam can be focused at an alternate focus plane 214 with a different beam diameter using a focus adjustment lens for modifying the curved field focus surface 216. In this way, beam focusing is primarily done with a relatively small (and usually faster) focus adjustment, while the beam spot size is primarily adjusted with a relatively large (and usually slower) beam spot size. To adjust.

In some systems, a servo motor or other motion control device (or piezoelectric device, galvanometer, translation stage, etc.) is placed to move a focus control lens to correct field curvature and maintain The beam at a substrate is focused. Additional servo motors (or piezoelectric devices, galvanometers, translation stages, etc.) are placed to move the focus control lens to further adjust the beam focus position in the optical axis, typically To adjust the beam diameter.

Referring generally to Figure 12, there is shown a cross-sectional view of three laser beams 302, 303, 304 (typically pulsed) directed to a composite 300 and focused at different composite feature patterns, each laser. The beams have selected laser pulse parameters. As shown, the composite 300 includes a substrate 306 having a lower portion 305 and a peripheral lip 307; a surrounding guide Body boundary 308; and a layer of conductive material 310 disposed on a top surface of substrate 306. In some examples, substrate 306 has a constant or fixed thickness, or may have a varying thickness, depending on the intended application of the composite. In some examples, the surrounding conductor boundary 308 includes a conductive silver paste.

In some embodiments, the composite 300 will be processed as a capacitive touch screen in an electronic device. In these embodiments, the composite 300 will be transparent so that it can be stacked on a display of an electronic device to provide a touch screen function without hindering the user from viewing the display. The thin layer 310 will include the body of the touch screen (i.e., it will be stacked on the display), and the boundary 308 will include one or more integrated circuit (IC) channels for These ICs are coupled to the body that touches the screen. For example, the ICs can be used to determine the location of a touch event on the touch screen based on a change in capacitance at various locations on the touch screen. The channels couple the IC to the touch screen itself to enable such decision operations.

It may be desirable in various electronic devices to stack a thin layer 310 over the entire display of the device to allow the user to interact with the full range of the display. Therefore, it would be necessary to mate the IC channels in the chassis of the electronic device. When the electronic device chassis is small, it is advantageous to reduce the size of the IC channels in a similar manner (so they can be mated inside the chassis) and to control their characteristics more finely (for example, they Conductivity and dimensions).

Because boundary 308 has a different use than thin layer 310, they can be processed in different ways to achieve different results. For example, it may be advantageous to non-ablatively treat the thin layer 310 such that it maintains a uniform thickness and appearance presented to the user. However, there is The method is ablative processing boundary 308 for forming the IC channels from the continuous boundary 308. Further, planes z1, z2, and z3 (pulsed laser beams 302, 304, and 303 are respectively focused thereon for processing layer 310 and boundary 308) along the pulsed laser beams The optical axes of 302, 303, 304 are separated from each other. Thus, the techniques described herein provide a variety of advantages in processing layer 310 and boundary 308 in a single system.

As explained above, the components of the composite shown in FIG. 12 are processed by a laser patterning system such as system 100. According to the foregoing description, system 100 can be used to process thin layer 310 and boundary 308 in a variety of different manners. For example, system 100 can be used to non-ablatively process thin layer 310, as explained in more detail below. System 100 can also be used to ablate processing boundary 308, as also described in further detail below. In these processing steps, the focus control lens 110 automatically moves to correct the curvature of the field. Movement of the housing 112 can be controlled manually or via a computer controlled servo module to control the focus position of the beam in the direction of the optical axis of the laser beam.

Thus, as shown in FIG. 12, a pulsed laser beam 302 is controlled to focus on the exposed surface of the thin layer 310 at the focal plane z1 to process the layer 310 non-ablatively. Likewise, a pulsed laser beam 304 is controlled to focus on the exposed surface of the boundary 308 at the focal plane z2 to ablately process the layer 308. Further, if a laser beam is used to ablatively process the composite 300, the laser beam is continuously controlled so that it is focused on the material (which can move when ablated) At the surface. In some cases it may be desirable to minimize the spot size of the laser beam on the surface the laser beam is processing. In such cases, the focal plane of the laser beam will coincide with the exposed surface of the material being processed, as shown for laser beams 302 and 304. However, in other cases, larger specials may be used. The pattern size is sized, and thus a larger spot size may be used. In such cases, the focal plane of the laser beam will deviate from the exposed surface of the material being processed along the optical axis of the laser beam, as shown for laser beam 303. Therefore, the scanning laser system described herein can provide an adjustment to the feature pattern size.

In some cases, the distance between a laser scanning system and the surface of the material to be processed can be adjusted, for example, by increasing the distance to provide a larger field size, shortening the distance to improve accuracy. Or change the size of the spot being focused. Thus, in some cases, the material to be processed by a laser scanning system will be placed on an adjustable surface that can be moved to adjust the distance between the scanning system and the surface to be treated. . For example, as shown in Figure 12, the composite 300 will be placed on a table 312 that can be adjusted along an axis ZF. In one example, the table will be coupled to one or more threaded rods 314 that are threaded into individual hollow tubes 316 having corresponding threads on the inner surface. Thus, rotating the tubes 316 causes the table 312 to move along the axis ZF and thereby cause the composite 300 to move along the axis ZF. The tubular body 316 is supported on a base unit 318. Of course, any other translation mechanism can also be used.

Figure 13 shows laser beams 406, 408, 410 that are propagating along a different axis when directed by a laser scanning system 412 (which may have a configuration similar to that of system 100). Each of the laser beams 406, 408, 410 shown in the figures has three different configurations (beams 406A, 406B, 406C, or 408A, 408B, 408C, or 410A, 410B, respectively). 410C): focused in a first configuration on a first focus plane 400A or 400B (i.e., as shown at 406A, 408A, and 410A), in a second configuration, focused on a second Focusing plane 402A or 402B (i.e., as at 406B, 408B, and 410B) Shown, and in a third configuration, is focused on a third focus plane 404A or 404B (i.e., as shown at 406C, 408C, and 410C). Focusing plane 400A is further from system 412 by distance x2 than focal plane 402A, and focal plane 402A is further from system 412 by distance x3 from focal plane 404A. The distances x4, x5, x6 generally correspond to different focus positions, which correspond to the curvature of the field in the objective lens. Thus, an objective lens can form a beam focus at a plane 400A for a target portion of the substrate placed on the objective lens axis; without focus adjustment, the beam incident on an off-axis target portion will be focused. On plane 400B. As mentioned above, a focus control lens will be provided to adjust the focus position for compensation.

The displacements x2, x3 are typically provided to correspond to a larger translation of a focus control lens to produce a beam spot size change. The displacements x2, x3 are generally unequal, and the beam spot size focused at plane 400A will typically be larger than the beam spot size at plane 402A, while the beam spot size at plane 402A will be greater than The size of the focused beam spot at plane 404A. As shown in Figure 12, a processing system is configured to provide focus adjustment (x4, x5, x6) at locations associated with different beam spot sizes (i.e., at displacements x2, x3).

14 shows an exemplary method 500 for processing a composite (eg, a composite to be processed as a touch screen in an electronic device). A composite is selected at 502, the composite comprising a substrate on which a conductor layer and a conductor boundary are formed. A pattern or process description is obtained at 504 to indicate how the various portions of the composite are to be processed, and may include pattern layout, dwell time, feature pattern size, type of processing (for example, ablation or Other processes). Processing beam parameters (eg, power, wavelength, pulse repetition rate, pulse energy, and beam spot size) are associated with the pattern description at 506. A focus plane (or working distance) is selected at 508 to generate the selected beam spot sizes. At 510 A focus control assembly is positioned such that the beam from the focus control assembly is focused at the selected focus plane to a suitable beam spot size. As shown in Figure 14, the focal plane is selected for processing the conductor layer. The conductor layer (or other substrate region) is processed at 512 with a focus control provided by a focus control lens at a selected spot size/working distance. A focus control assembly is positioned at 514 such that the beam from the focus control assembly is focused at another selected focus plane to another suitable beam spot size. As shown in Figure 14, this focal plane is selected for processing the conductor boundary. The conductor boundary (or other substrate area) is processed at 516 with a focus control provided by a focus control lens at a selected spot size/working distance. Processing of this exemplary method will end at 520. A plurality of different working distances and beam spot sizes can be used based on the pattern description. Although it is possible to use a beam spot size range, for example, between 2 μm and 10 mm, between 4 μm and 1 mm, between 5 μm and 0.5 mm, or between 8 μm and 0.2 mm. Beam diameter; however, typical beam spot sizes are between 10 μm and 100 μm. Such beams are typically capable of processing a composite comprising a conductor silver paste or a silver nanowire having a correspondingly sized feature pattern.

Ablation and non-ablative treatment of conductor layers and boundaries

In some cases, the conductor layer is non-ablatively treated to enable it to act as a touch-sensitive screen in an electronic device, and the conductor boundary is ablatively treated to form a touch-sensitive screen. An IC channel of an integrated circuit. However, in alternative embodiments, the conductor layer or the conductor boundary can be ablated or non-ablative as long as it is suitable for this particular embodiment. As used herein, the terms "ablative" and "non-ablative" have the meanings set forth above.

In some cases, the layers of conductive material comprise a plurality of randomly arranged silver nanoparticles line. The silver nanowires of such layers are fixed to a substrate in a polymeric matrix (e.g., an organic overlay coating). A laser beam will deliver a laser pulse to the layer and create a treated portion wherein the conductivity of the material of the conductor layer will substantially change such that the treated portion is substantially non-conducting. As used herein, "conductivity" and "non-conductivity" have a meaning that is generally understood in the art of printing electronics, touch sensor patterning, or photoelectrons. For example, a suitable sheet resistance of a material that can be considered to be conductive includes 30 to 250 Ω/sq, and a suitable sheet resistance or electrical isolation measurement that can be considered a non-conducting or electrically isolated material includes greater than or equal to About 20MΩ/sq. However, these chip resistances are merely examples, and the range of other conductors and the range of non-conductivity can be applied depending on the needs of a particular application. Some processed substrates may be considered to have sufficient conductivity at a sheet resistance of less than 500 Ω/sq, 1 kΩ/sq, 5 kΩ/sq, or 10 kΩ/sq, and may have a sheet resistance greater than or equal to about 100 kΩ/sq. , 1 MΩ/sq, or 100 MΩ/sq is considered to be non-conducting.

The laser pulses are directed to the composite in a variety of patterns such that a particular region and electrical path are formed on the substrate. By carefully selecting the characteristics of the laser pulse parameters (which include: pulse length, pulse energy density, pulse energy, spot size, pulse repetition rate, and scan speed), the substrate can be processed to have its electrical characteristics preset The manner is changed while the substrate and associated protective and conductor layers are not substantially destroyed or structurally altered (for example, ablative).

Exemplary laser pulse parameters suitable for non-ablative treatment of a conductor layer include: a pulse length of about 50 ps, a pulse energy density of about 0.17 J/cm 2 , a spot size of about 40 μm (l/e 2 ), A scan rate of about 1 m/s, a pulse-to-pulse overlap of greater than 90%, a total pulse energy of about 12 μJ, and a pulse repetition rate of about 100 kHz, which utilizes optical radiation at a wavelength of 1064 nm (discovered, and substrates and other materials) The degree of reaction is less than the shorter wavelength of light). Various other parameters are equally suitable. For example, the pulse repetition rate can be increased to 1 MHz, 10 MHz, or greater than 10 MHz to increase processing speed. The pulse length can be chosen to be shorter or longer. The pulse energy density can be adjusted to ensure that the target is non-ablative. Possible pulse lengths include less than about 1 ps, 100 ps, 200 ps, 500 ps, 800 ps, or 1 ns. Other parameters can be changed and optimized in the same way. Laser parameters suitable for non-ablative laser processing are selected in part based on the relevant characteristics of the selected material to be processed. For example, changing the thickness of the substrate, thin conductor layer, etc. can affect the possible distribution of laser pulse heat or other time dependent effects that need to be mitigated.

Although the beams are generally described as being sent to a focus; however, other beam geometry configurations and intensity distributions may be employed, including: unfocused beams; linear beams; square or rectangular beams; A beam having a uniform, substantially uniform, or preselected intensity profile across one or more transverse axes. In some cases, a composite is translated to help achieve a geometric pattern of features on its surface. In some cases, one or more laser beams will illuminate a composite from the top or back side, causing the beam to propagate through the substrate to the conductor layer, causing the beam to cause Ablative or non-ablative change of a conductor layer. In some cases, a laser pulse causes a treated portion of a conductor layer to become non-conducting, but does not alter the visible characteristics of the treated portion. Similarly, a laser pulse treats a conductor boundary in an ablative or non-ablative manner. Laser ablation at a conductor boundary can be achieved by increasing the energy content of the laser beam incident on the target surface. For example, the laser pulse parameters can be adjusted by increasing the pulse length, pulse energy density, total pulse energy, using shorter wavelengths, or reducing the spot size. Suitable laser systems typically include pulsed fiber lasers, pulsed light Fiber amplifiers, as well as diode-excited solid-state lasers.

Exemplary control system and computing environment

An exemplary laser processing system is shown in FIG. 15 that includes a control system 600 that controls a laser beam delivery system 603. As shown, the control system 600 will include: a laser beam parameter control interface 602; a platform control interface 604; two galvanometer control interfaces 606 and 608 for controlling the scanning of a laser beam; The platform control interface 610 is coupled to the second platform control interface 612. The laser beam parameter control interface 602 is coupled to a laser beam source, such as a laser source 605, and is capable of controlling the parameters of the resulting laser beam, such as pulse length, pulse energy density, pulse. Energy, pulsed light wavelength, ..., etc. In general, control system 600 includes one or more processors 607 and a memory 609 that retains pattern data and instructions for processing pattern data to determine laser scanning parameters. The control interfaces are typically implemented on the basis of computer executable instructions stored in one or more computer readable storage media (eg, magnetic disks or memory such as random access memory).

The platform control interface 604 is coupled to a substrate platform 618 that is capable of controlling the position of the composite to be processed. The substrate platform 618 will include any of a wide variety of motion control devices, such as piezoelectric or motor type scanning devices. The galvanometer control interfaces 606, 608 are coupled to galvanometers 616, 614, respectively, which are capable of controlling reflective surfaces 617, 615, respectively. The first platform control interface 610 and the second platform control interface 612 are coupled to the motion control devices 629, 630, respectively, and are capable of controlling linear motion of the platforms along an optical axis. Motion control device 629 is coupled to a focus adjustment assembly 628 that can The beam is kept focused during the beam scan. The focus adjustment assembly 628 is secured to the motion control device 630 to select a suitable beam diameter for substrate processing. One of the additional positions of the focus adjustment assembly 628 is shown at 628A. Adjusting the focus adjustment assembly 628 with the motion control device 630 is generally accompanied by corresponding movement of the substrate 618, thus achieving beam focusing of different beam diameters while maintaining the focus over a field of view using the motion control device 629.

A generalized example of a suitable computing environment 700 in which the innovations described herein can be implemented is shown in FIG. The computing environment 700 is not intended to suggest any limitation as to the scope of use or functionality, as such innovations can be performed in a wide variety of general purpose or special purpose computing systems. For example, computing environment 700 can be any of a wide variety of computing devices, for example, desktops, laptops, server computers, tablets, media players, gaming systems, mobile devices,... Wait.

Referring to FIG. 16, computing environment 700 includes a base configuration 730 that includes one or more processing units 710, 715 and memory 720, 725. Processing units 710, 715 execute instructions executable by the computer. A processing unit can be a general purpose central processing unit (CPU), a processor of an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), or any other type of processor. In a multi-processing system, multiple processing units perform computer-readable instructions to increase processing power. For example, FIG. 16 shows a central processing unit 710 and a graphics processing unit or co-processing unit 715. The tangible memory 720, 725 can be volatile memory (for example, scratchpad, cache, RAM), non-volatile memory (for example, ROM, EEPROM, flash memory, ..., etc.) Or a specific combination of the foregoing two that can be accessed by the processing unit(s). Memory 720, 725 to fit The processing unit(s) are configured to execute one or more of the innovative software 780 described herein in the form of computer executable instructions.

A computing system can also have additional features. For example, computing environment 700 includes a storage 740, one or more input devices 750, one or more output devices 760, and one or more communication connections 770. An interconnection mechanism (not shown) (e.g., a bus, controller, or network) interconnects the devices of the computing environment 700. In general, the operating system software (not shown) provides a working environment for other software executing in the computing environment 700 and coordinates the activities of the devices of the computing environment 700.

The tangible storage 740 can be removable or non-removable and includes a disk, tape or cassette, CD-ROM, DVD, or can be used to store information in a non-transitory manner and can be used in the computing environment 700. Any other media accessed. The storage 740 stores instructions for performing one or more of the innovative software 780 described herein.

The input device(s) 750 can be a touch input device (eg, a keyboard, mouse, pen, or trackball), a voice input device, a scanning device, or other device that provides input to the computing environment 700. For video encoding, the input device(s) 750 can be a camera, a video card, a TV tuner, or a similar device that accepts video input in analog or digital form, or read video samples into the computing environment 700. CD-ROM or CD-RW. The output device(s) 760 can be a display, a printer, a speaker, a CD overprinter, or other device that provides output from the computing environment 700.

The communication connection(s) 770 enable communication with another computing entity on a communication medium. The communication medium conveys information such as computer executable instructions, audio or video input or output, or other information in the modulated data signal. Modulated data signal One or more of its feature sets encode information in the signal or one or more of its feature sets have changed in a manner to encode information in the signal. By way of example and not limitation, a communication medium can use an electrical carrier, an optical carrier, an RF carrier, or other carrier.

Software 780 will contain one or more software modules. For example, the software 780 can include: a laser beam software module 782 for setting laser beam parameters and/or controlling a laser beam source; and a substrate platform motion module 784 for setting edges An axis position of the substrate and control of a substrate platform; and a beam scanning module 786 for determining parameters of a beam scanning system and/or controlling the beam scanning system. One such exemplary beam scanning system would include a pair of ammeters. A focus control module 780 also includes a focus correction module 788 for determining the action to be taken to correct the curvature of the field, for example, moving a focus adjustment lens. A beam diameter module 790 controls the movement to focus a beam at a particular distance to achieve a selected beam diameter.

For convenience of presentation, some of the operations of the disclosed methods are described in a particular sequential order; however, it should be understood that unless the specific language proposed in this document requires a special ordering, this description covers re- arrangement. For example, the operations illustrated in this document may be rearranged or implemented synchronously in some cases. Moreover, for the sake of simplicity, the accompanying drawings do not show the various ways in which the disclosed method can be used in conjunction with other methods.

Any of the disclosed methods can be stored in one or more computer readable storage media (eg, one or more optical media discs, volatile memory devices (eg, DRAM or SRAM), Or a non-volatile memory device (for example, a flash memory or a hard disk drive) and on a computer (for example, any commercially available computer that contains a smart phone or Computer executable instructions executed in other mobile devices that include computing hardware. The term computer readable storage medium does not include communication connections, such as signals and carriers. Any computer executable instructions for performing the disclosed techniques, as well as any materials created and used during the practice of the disclosed embodiments, may be stored in one or more computer readable storage media. For example, the computer executable instructions may be part of a software application or a software application accessed or downloaded via a web browser or other software application (eg, a remote computing application). . For example, the software can be executed on a single-area computer (for example, any suitable commercially available computer) or in a network environment that utilizes one or more network computers (through the Internet, WAN) , regional network, client-server network (for example, cloud computing network), or other such network) implementation.

Furthermore, any of the software-based embodiments (including, for example, computer-executable instructions for causing a computer to implement any of the disclosed methods) can be uploaded, downloaded, or It is remote access. For example, this convenient means of communication includes the Internet, the World Wide Web, intranets, software applications, cables (which contain fiber optic cables), magnetic communications, electromagnetic communications (which include RF, microwave, and infrared communication), electronic communication, or other such means of communication.

Figure 17 shows a focus assembly 808 that can be translated to a plurality of fixed positions (e.g., 808A) based on the assembly stops 810A-810C. The platform 802 translates the focus assembly 808 along an axis 812 of an objective lens 814. The focus assembly 808 includes a lens 806 that translates within the focus assembly 808 for adjusting the beam focus position established by the objective lens 814 to compensate for field curvature or non-planar substrates. One of the lenses 806 is representative to display at 806A.

V. Optimization of high resolution digitally encoded laser scanners for fine feature pattern marking

An important feature of laser scanning systems is the resolution they can achieve (herein used to represent the minimum distance between two distinguishable points). Conventional laser scanning systems have attempted to improve resolution by reducing the working distance between the laser scanner and the surface being scanned, resulting in a smaller resolution scan over a smaller field of view. In order to maintain large field scanning capabilities, these conventional systems have used expensive translatable platforms to translate the surface being scanned so that a plurality of small fields can be scanned adjacent to each other on a surface to form a large field. area. These conventional systems have several drawbacks.

Previous laser scanning systems typically used a 16-bit laser scanner to reduce the working distance until the desired resolution was reached, and then scanned a plurality of small fields that relied on a translatable platform to the scanner. Moves the surface being scanned for the datum. It has been found that by using a 20-bit scanner, the same technique can be utilized to achieve improved resolution (for example, a 6-fold improvement). Alternatively, it has been found that by using a 20-bit scanner, the same resolution can be achieved at a large working distance, thereby reducing or eliminating the need to scan a plurality of fields and thereby reducing or eliminating the scanner. The requirement to translate the surface being scanned for the reference. This provides several advantages that are distinct and significantly superior to conventional systems. For example, it is capable of achieving a significantly smaller resolution scan. Further, by reducing or eliminating the need to stitch together many small fields, it reduces or eliminates errors in the programming process.

Figure 18 is a digital laser scanning system 3000 (e.g., a 20-bit laser scanning system) and laser beams 3008, 3010, and 3012, each of which is along a line The different axes indicated by the system 3000 propagate. Each of the laser beams 3008, 3010, and 3012 shown in the figures has three different configurations (beams 3008A, 3008B, 3008C, or 3010A, 3010B, 3010C, or 3012A, 3012B, respectively). , 3012C): in a first configuration, focused on a first focus plane 3002 (i.e., as shown at 3008A, 3010A, and 3012A), in a second configuration, focused on a second focus On plane 3004 (i.e., as shown at 3008B, 3010B, and 3012B), and in a third configuration is focused on a third focus plane 3006 (i.e., as at 3008C, 3010C, and 3012C) Shown). The focus plane 3002 is further from the system 3000 than the focus plane 3004, and the focus plane 3004 is further from the system 3000 than the focus plane 3006.

The digital laser scanning system 3000 typically produces a skew angle a that is specified digitally by a predetermined number of bits. For example, digital laser scanning system 3000 can specify a skew angle in n-bits, where n is an integer such as 8, 16, 18, 20, or more bits. An n-bit digital laser scanning system is capable of recognizing 2 n different skew angles. The lateral displacement on a selected focal plane is typically proportional to the product of the skew angle a and the focal plane distance in axis 3050. The lateral displacement resolution (for a fixed skew angle difference) is defined as the associated lateral displacement difference.

As shown in FIG. 18, the lateral displacement resolution at the focal plane 3006 is less than the lateral displacement resolution at the focal plane 3004, and the lateral displacement resolution at the focal plane 3004 is less than the lateral displacement resolution at the focal plane 3002. . That is, as the working distance from the system 3000 increases, the lateral displacement resolution increases. Because the focus plane 3002 is further from the system 3000 than the focus plane 3004, and the focus plane 3004 is further from the system 3000 than the focus plane 3006, the lateral displacement resolution x10 > x11 > x12. Utilize a 20-bit scanning system instead of 16 The bit scanning system is capable of achieving a desired resolution at a sufficiently large working distance, thereby allowing scanning of a scanning field of one square meter without the need to translate the scanned surface with the scanning system as a reference and It is not necessary to stitch together a plurality of smaller scan fields to form a larger scan field. More specifically, a 20-bit scanning system is capable of scanning a field of one square meter of scanning field with a resolution of less than one micron.

System 3000 can include: a laser configured to generate a processing beam; an optical system; and a scan controller configured to receive a scan pattern and couple the scan control signal to the optical system. In some cases, the scan pattern is defined as a plurality of scan vectors. In some cases, the scan control signals control the optical system to direct the processing beam to a scan area having a predetermined beam diameter. In some cases, the scan controller is configured to couple a scan control signal to the optical system to control the optical system to scan the processing area across the scan area or relative to the scan area. At least one exposure scan vector is generated. In some cases, the lateral offset between the exposure scan vector and an expected scan vector is less than 1/10 of the predetermined beam diameter or less than 1/20 of the predetermined beam diameter. In some cases, the accuracy of the scan control signals corresponding to the scan vectors falls within at least 1/2 16 (0.0015%), for example, about 1/2 17 (0.00076%), or about 1/ 2 18 (0.00038%), or about 1/2 19 (0.00019%), or about 1/2 20 (0.000095%).

Table 1 more clearly shows the resolution that can be achieved for several field sizes using various scanning systems, in μm/bit. In particular, Table 1 shows the particular advantages of a 20-bit scanning system over a 16-bit scanning system for square fields with sides of different lengths.

19A and 19B respectively show the resolution achievable using a 16-bit scanning system and using a 20-bit scanning system. The left image of Figures 19A and 19B shows an input pattern consisting of a plurality of concentric circles having a maximum circle diameter of 1 mm. The right image of Figures 19A and 19B shows the pattern actually scanned by the 16-bit scanning system and the 20-bit scanning system in response to an input pattern consisting of a plurality of concentric circles. These patterns are scanned on a photosensitive paper using the same optical system, laser, and scanner (which operates in 16-bit mode and 20-bit mode). Based on the field size used in these examples, the 16-bit scanning system has a lateral displacement resolution of 9.2 μm and a 20-bit scanning system with a lateral displacement resolution of 0.6 μm. These experimental results clearly show the improved scanning resolution of the 20-bit scanning system. With a higher lateral displacement resolution, the shape can be more accurately transferred to the substrate.

Thus, a 20-bit scanning system can provide a smaller scribe line with less than the scan spacing of known scanning systems (herein used to represent the minimum achievable center-to-center distance between feature patterns), And it is possible to reduce the quantization error associated with the beam displacement caused by the single bit accuracy limit. Specifically, to scan a 20 μm scribe line with a 40 μm pitch on a field of 0.5 mx 0.5 m, the 16-bit scanning system provides only 5 to 6 bits between the scribe lines (at 7.6 μm/bit). At). By reducing the scribe width to 10 μm and narrowing the pitch to 20 μm, the 16-bit system is capable of providing only 2 to 3 bits between scribes, resulting in significant beam displacement quantification and associated errors (for example, The spacing between feature patterns is inconsistent). Conversely, to scan a 10 [mu]m scribe line with a 20 [mu]m pitch over a field of 0.5 mx 0.5 m, a 20-bit scanning system would provide 41 and 42 bits between the scribe lines. Figures 20A and 20B show the results of this improvement. Figure 20A shows a number of lines scanned by a 16-bit scanning system at a 100 [mu]m pitch and Figure 20B shows the same input pattern scanned by a 20-bit scanning system. The improvement in interval consistency can be visually seen.

The present invention has undergone further testing to evaluate the improved results provided by the 20-bit scan. Figure 21 shows the input pattern scanned by a 16-bit scanning system and a 20-bit scanning system. The numbers shown in Figure 21 indicate the spacing of the associated patterns, in nm. The spacing of the scanned feature patterns is measured at high magnification, and the results for each of the patterns are presented in Table 2 (the lines or corners have a given interval).

Table 2 presents measurements of the spacing of the scanned feature patterns for six different patterns patterned by both 16-bit scans and 20-bit scans, including maximum interval, minimum interval, minimum interval, and maximum interval. The difference, the average interval, and the standard deviation of the interval. The spacing of the corner feature patterns is measured in the diagonal between the corner edges, and therefore, the nominal distance of the feature pattern having a pitch of 50 μm is 70.7 μm and the nominal distance of the feature pattern having a pitch of 100 μm is 141.4. Mm. As shown in Table 2, the performance of the 20-bit scan is consistent and significantly better than the 16-bit scan. Specifically, all standard deviations of 20-bit measurements fall within twice the single-bit resolution limit.

An exemplary method 2200 by which a material can be processed is shown in FIG. At 2202, material to be processed by a laser scanning system is received. At 2204, a description of the pattern to be scanned onto the material is received. At 2206, the material will be processed using the laser scanning system in accordance with the pattern description, and the laser scanning system will be operated to have an angular resolution of 20 bits. At 2208, the process ends. In some cases, the method is used to process a field of at least one square meter with a single laser scanner without the need to translate the material based on the scanning device.

Another exemplary method would include receiving a pattern description to define one or more pattern features that are associated with individual scan vectors. The method may further include selecting a laser beam diameter and directing a laser beam having the selected beam diameter or other predetermined beam diameter over a scan area of the substrate based on the pattern description. In some cases, the laser beam will be directed over the scanning area with a lateral displacement resolution less than 1/10 of the beam diameter. In some cases, the laser beam will be less than 1/20 of the beam diameter The lateral displacement resolution is directed over the scan area. The scanning area can be square, rectangular, circular, or can have any other suitable shape.

Another exemplary method would include selecting a laser beam diameter (for example, between about 10 [mu]m and 100 [mu]m); and placing a substrate in a scan at a desired working distance from a laser beam source. In the plane, the pupil causes the laser beam to have a selected diameter at the scanning plane. In some cases, the scan plane will be associated with the selected laser beam diameter, for example, the working distance will be determined based on the selected diameter. The method can further include exposing the substrate to the laser beam by spanning or scanning the laser beam relative to the substrate. In some cases, the laser beam will correspond to less than 1/10 of the selected laser beam diameter, or less than 1/20 of the selected laser beam diameter, or less than the selected An angular scan increment of 1/100 of the laser beam diameter or less than 1/1000 of the selected laser beam diameter is scanned.

A 20-bit scanning system will improve the resolution to such an extent that the scanning system is no longer a limiting factor in achieving resolution. For example, the device used to modify the scanning system may not be corrected to fall within the resolution achievable by the scanning system. In another example, thermal and/or vibration effects as well as beam steering and/or material limitations may result in errors greater than the resolution achievable with the scanning system. A 20-bit (or other) laser scanning system uses multi-point extrapolation and homogenization to place a beam across a field of the field for further improvement over 16-bit encoding. Any suitable wavelength or range of optical radiation (eg, ultraviolet, visible, infrared, or other wavelengths) can be used. In some embodiments, a laser scanning system is used to scan a two-dimensional surface such that the resolution of the scan pattern in the first axis is the same as the resolution of the scan pattern in the second axis. In an alternative embodiment, a laser sweep The scanning system is used to scan a two-dimensional surface such that the resolution of the scanning pattern in the first axis is greater than the resolution of the scanning pattern in the second axis.

The systems and methods described herein provide a number of advantages. For example, the systems and methods described herein are capable of achieving a more precise laser patterning of a material. The systems and methods described herein can enable laser patterning of a substantially larger scan field with less or better resolution than previous systems and methods. In particular, the systems and methods described herein allow for laser scanning of a scanning field greater than 1 square meter with a resolution of less than 1 [mu]m without the need to translate the material and without the need to stitch a plurality of scanning fields. To form a larger composite scan field. This will reduce or eliminate errors caused by the translatable platform and the splicing process. This also reduces the time required to scan large fields, reducing total production time and eliminating the need for expensive translatable platforms, reducing overall production costs.

In some embodiments, multiple 20-bit laser scanners can be used in an array to simultaneously scan a surface to achieve a larger scan field and/or smaller resolution than a single 20-bit scanner. the goal of. This technique can further reduce the necessary processing time by processing multiple regions in parallel rather than sequential processing (which requires additional time to translate) multiple regions. In some embodiments, one or more 20-bit laser scanning systems can be used to scan portions of a surface of a material, and then the material can be in the one or more scanning systems. The fiducial is translated (for example, one or more translatable platforms), and the scanning system is capable of scanning different portions of the surface of the material. This technique can also be used to achieve a larger scanning field and/or a smaller resolution.

In embodiments where multiple 20-bit scanning systems are used to scan multiple scan fields of a surface, and in a 20-bit scanning system in conjunction with a translatable platform is used to scan a table In an embodiment of the plurality of scan fields, a plurality of scan swaths are stitched together to form a larger composite scan field. For example, if multiple 20-bit scanning systems are used, each of the scanning systems will be equipped with a vision system and the surface will be equipped with a number of fields placed in the field of view of the vision system. Benchmark mark. The vision system uses the fiducial markers to identify regions in the surface to which the scanning system is assigned to scan and, if necessary, to align the scans of different scanning systems. In another example, if a 20-bit scanning system is combined with a translatable platform to scan a plurality of scanning fields, the vision system uses the reference marks to identify the plurality of scanning fields. Each field is used to align the plurality of scanning fields to form a larger composite scanning field. Because a 20-bit scanning system provides greatly improved resolution, multiple fields can be aligned ("spliced together") in a more precise manner.

In some cases, the computer system is provided with computer executable instructions stored in one or more computer readable storage media that are optimized or arranged to be scanned by a laser scanning system. The computer executable method of the sequence of multiple vectors. Such methods and systems can reduce the time required to scan a surface and thus reduce overall processing time. The optimization algorithm used by these methods provides greater efficiency as the number of vectors in a scanned pattern increases. Thus, these methods have been found to be particularly valuable for large scan fields, as larger scan fields typically contain a larger number of vectors to be rendered.

As mentioned above, a 20-bit scanning system can be used to process the material to be used as a capacitive touch screen in an electronic device (eg, a cellular phone or tablet). In these embodiments, a large scan field will be used to make multiple touch screens from a common substrate during a single scan job. A large scanning field can also be used to make large touch screens.

VI. Conclusion

The many possible embodiments of the present disclosure can be applied to the present invention, and the embodiments of the present invention are intended to be illustrative only and not to limit the scope of the present disclosure. The present invention claims all embodiments that fall within the scope and spirit of the appended claims.

1010‧‧‧pulse laser beam

1012‧‧‧ Target

1014‧‧‧Transparent substrate

1016‧‧‧Protective layer

1018‧‧‧ Conductor layer

1020‧‧‧Processed part

Claims (20)

  1. A method for laser patterning, comprising: receiving a pattern description stored in at least one computer readable storage medium, the pattern description including a definition of at least one feature pattern associated with a scan vector, Scanning vector associated with a laser beam deflection angle; and directing a laser beam over a scanning area of a fixed substrate based on the pattern description, wherein the laser beam is less than one laser beam A lateral displacement resolution of 1/20 of the beam diameter is directed over the scanning area such that a portion of the pattern corresponding to the at least one feature pattern is generated by the laser beam on the scanning area of the fixed substrate.
  2. The method of claim 1, wherein the fixed scanning area has an area of at least one square meter.
  3. The method of claim 2, wherein the lateral displacement resolution is less than 1 μm.
  4. The method of claim 1, wherein the fixed scanning area is square or circular.
  5. The method of claim 4, wherein at least one of laser beam power, pulse energy, pulse repetition rate, and laser beam diameter is selected to process the fixed substrate.
  6. The method of claim 1, wherein the lateral displacement resolution is less than 0.5 μm.
  7. The method of claim 6, wherein the scanning area is square and has an area of at least one square meter.
  8. The method of claim 1, wherein directing the laser beam comprises directing the laser beam using multi-point extrapolation and homogenization.
  9. A method for laser patterning, comprising: selecting a laser beam diameter; fixing a substrate such that it is scanned at a scan plane associated with the selected laser beam diameter; Exposing the fixed substrate to the laser beam with respect to the fixed substrate to scan a laser beam having the selected diameter of the laser beam, wherein the laser beam is The scanning plane is scanned with an angular scan increment corresponding to less than 1/10 of the diameter of the laser beam.
  10. The method of claim 9, wherein the laser beam is scanned at the scanning plane with an angular scan increment corresponding to less than 1/100 of the diameter of the laser beam.
  11. The method of claim 9, wherein the laser beam is scanned at the scanning plane with an angular scan increment corresponding to less than 1/1000 of the diameter of the laser beam.
  12. The method of claim 9, wherein the selected laser beam diameter is between 10 μm and 100 μm.
  13. The method of claim 9, wherein scanning the laser beam relative to the fixed substrate comprises scanning the laser beam over a fixed scanning area of the fixed substrate, wherein the fixing The scan area is at least one square meter.
  14. An apparatus for laser patterning, comprising: a laser configured to generate a processing beam; an optical system; a scan controller configured to receive a scan pattern defined as a plurality of scan vectors and configured to control the optical system to beam the process with a predetermined beam diameter Leading to a scanning area of a fixed substrate; wherein the scanning controller is configured to control the optical system to scan the processing beam relative to the scanning area to generate an exposure scan vector, such that The lateral offset between the exposure scan vector and an expected scan vector is less than 1/10 of the predetermined beam diameter.
  15. The device of claim 14, wherein the scanning area is rectangular and the lateral offset is less than 1/10 5 of the length of a scanning area.
  16. The device of claim 14, wherein the scanning area is rectangular and the lateral offset is less than 1/10 6 of the length of a scanning area.
  17. The device of claim 14, wherein the scan controller couples the plurality of scan control signals to the optical system such that the scan control signals correspond to the scan vectors to at least 0.0015%.
  18. The device of claim 14, wherein the scan controller couples the plurality of scan control signals to the optical system such that the scan control signals correspond to the scan vectors to at least 0.0008%.
  19. The device of claim 14, wherein the scan controller couples the plurality of scan control signals to the optical system such that the scan control signals correspond to the scan vectors to at least 0.0004%.
  20. The device of claim 14, wherein the scan controller couples the plurality of scan control signals to the optical system such that the scan control signals correspond to the scan vectors to at least 0.0001%.
TW103130968A 2013-02-21 2014-09-09 Optimization of high resolution digitally encoded laser scanners for fine feature marking TWI611855B (en)

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TW201518021A (en) 2015-05-16
KR101883289B1 (en) 2018-07-31

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