Custom OptoAlign® Exposure Equipment

  • Non-contact alignment or anisotropy created in materials using polarized UV radiation from  linear bulb lamps
  • Modular approach to lamps and optics allows one to uniformly expose any size substrate or any width web
  • Optic designs for machine direction (P) or transverse direction (S) polarization
  • Custom designed for R&D, pilot and mass production of liquid crystal displays, LC polymer films and anisotropic films and devices
  • Unpolarized systems available using similar design and  components as polarized UV systems for maximum reliability and interchangeability
  • Inert atmosphere in exposure region can be provided
  • Systems for in-line process monitoring of product and exposure equipment are available
  • Clean room compatible
  • Compatible with OptoAlign® processes and materials

Custom OptoAlign® Exposure Equipment is designed for the optical alignment of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and functional optical and electronic polymer films. 

OptoAlign® technology is a non-contact, dust and static-free alignment process that increases yield and enables new LC display modes and LC device applications. OptoAlign® materials, processes and equipment use Elsicon’s proprietary technology to provide a turnkey non-rubbing alignment process for LCD manufacturers. For example, TN, STN, Multi-Domain, VA, IPS and FLC display modes, and LC polymer films for compensation films have been demonstrated with the custom equipment, OptoAlign® processes, and developmental materials.  

Custom OptoAlign®  Exposure Equipment is engineered with modular lamp and optical components that are fully scalable to pilot line and mass production. Elsicon has expertise in a variety of polarizing technologies such as dielectric, wire grid, Brewster angle and film polarizers and lamp technologies such as microwave, arc and excimer.  The choice of polarizing and lamp technology depends on the needs of the customer and application.  

The first and second pictures above show pilot line OptoAlign® exposure systems that can expose approximately 400mm and 200mm widths, respectively.  

The UV lamp systems and optical components are highly stable and reliable.  We have developed software to model polarized and unpolarized lamp equipment.  We have shown an excellent correlation between experiment and the modeling software for OptoAlign®  Exposure Equipment with exposure widths up to 1 m wide.  We have used the modeling software to design and engineer equipment for exposure widths of approximately 2m.

Elsicon has prototype OptoAlign®  Exposure Equipment in a Class 100 clean room (third picture shown above).  The equipment is capable of exposing up to 700mm cross web widths or substrate diagonals.  The automated system is available to customers for testing.  

We also offer systems for providing an inert atmosphere during exposure of substrates or web, in-line process monitoring of product properties and in-line radiometric monitoring of the exposure equipment.

Nominal Specifications*

Max. Exposure Area: Any size. We have demonstrated equipment with cross web widths or substrate diagonals up to 700mm, designed and engineered for cross web widths or substrate diagonals up to 2m

Peak Irradiance and Integrated Energy Density Uniformity for Design Exposure Width: Approx. ± 5% or better

Polarization Angle Uniformity for Design Exposure Width: ± 0.5 degrees or better for down web or cross web polarization optics in systems with cross web widths or substrate diagonals that are 700mm or greater.  For cross web widths or substrate diagonals less than 700mm, please contact Elsicon for further information.

Peak Irradiance:  Approx. 2.5 W/cm2 or less (depends on number of lamps, spectrum of UV and optics design)

Extinction Ratio (S:P): Open.  Based on optics configuration.  We have designed systems with extinction ratios in the approximate range of 15:1 to 1:20 or better.

Wavelength Range: Open.  Designed systems with ranges in between 200-400nm.  For a given optics design the width of polarized wavelength range ~100 nm.

Azimuthal Angle Resolution for Substrates: Open

Max. Translation: Open

Max. Translation Speed: Open

Lamp: Modular high power microwave lamps with linear bulbs 

Lamp Polar Angle Range: Open

Lamp Polar Angle Resolution: Open

Lamp/Optics: High power focusing, filtering, polarizing and collimating optics.  Polarizers and filters based on inorganic materials for long lifetimes.  Bulb output power and spectrum stable to ±10% over the life of bulb (minimum 4000 hours).  

*Specifications for custom equipment will be determined by Customer and Product requirements.  Therefore, please do not hesitate to contact Elsicon regarding your particular needs.

No OptoAlign® process license is expressed or implied with the sale of equipment.


Wayne M.Gibbons
Elsicon, Inc.
Tel:(302)266-7030 ext.11

Last updated 1/15/08