Panasonic has become the first company to achieve the elimination of lead in the plasma display panels (PDPs) used as the central picture component in its plasma televisions and modules.
The production of lead free PDPs began with Panasonic’s plasma TV range launched in Europe and US in Spring 2006, including the world’s largest Plasma HDTV, the 262cm PDP-TV.
In conventional manufacturing processes for Plasma Display Panels, lead oxide glass is used as a key component for the dielectric layer electrodes, seal frit (ground glass compound) and other structural elements to form the panel. Until now, lead oxide glass was essential for adjusting the softening points of several different materials to build dielectric layers.
Panasonic says it avoided the use of lead oxide glass by developing new materials for the dielectric layer, electrodes and other parts whose characteristics and reliability are similar to those of lead oxide glass. The company used glass additives with similar properties to lead oxide, and refined the material composition of the non-glass components. It also optimised the heating conditions in the PDP manufacturing process to maintain production yield and quality levels.