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Rofin can meet the various criteria for the production of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with its Powerline E-12 SHG IC laser source (532nm wavelength) configured with twin marking heads.

According to the company, LEDs are expected to become one of the predominant light sources.

The pace of development, however, differs depending on specific requirements and constraints.

Currently, one of the most promising markets is said to be display backlight technology.

Laser marking is an essential step in manufacturing the LEDs used for this purpose.

There are currently two main methods of using LED backlighting in LCD flat-panel televisions: LED edge lighting and full array LED backlighting.

The latter places about 100 backlight segments behind the entire screen, allowing for local dimming and providing a significant increase in the contrast range available.

Each segment consists of hundreds of minuscule LEDs.

As each LCD display requires a large number of LEDs, their production has to be cost efficient and fast.

The laser marking process for this application requires a 0.080mm character height, 0.035mm line widths, exact positioning and marking speeds of more than 1,000 characters per second.

Engraving is performed within a tiny area and often on white plastic housings.

Rofin’s strengths include the real-time compensation of position tolerances.

The Powerline E series lasers offer cost-efficient operation and simple integration, according to the company.

The mass-market production of LEDs for LCD backlighting typically requires the simple marking of type codes and connection labels.

However, there is now also a growing market for high-power LEDs that require full product traceability, such as those used in the automotive and mobile phone industries.

Interior lights within modern cars already make full use of LEDs; it is believed that growth in the use of LEDs for rear lights, brake lights and headlights will follow in the next few years.

Mobile devices use LEDs for display and keyboard backlighting and flashlights.

High-power LED production usually requires traceability markings on GaN, sapphire, SiC or GaAs wafers with OCR or T7 data matrix codes.

Rofin’s Waferlase systems are designed to meet stringent requirements for wafer marking, assuring the traceability of the manufacturing process for the fault analysis of semiconductor devices.

The systems all produce marks that are machine readable, have no negative influence on subsequent manufacturing operations and still permit clear identification at the end of the process chain.

The Powerline E-12 SHG IC laser is used to engrave tiny 2D matrix codes, made up of spots that measure just 0.043mm in diameter, on lead frames during the LED production process.

The laser marks the white ceramics used as a substrate for LEDs, with characters just 0.15mm high and with line widths of 0.020mm, and ECC200 data matrix codes, which have a 1mm edge length.

Rofin-Baasel UK Ltd is the UK sales and support subsidiary of Rofin Sinar Technologies Inc, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial lasers and is quoted on the USA NASDAQ stock exchange. Rofin makes lasers and laser systems for marking, welding, cutting, drilling and perforating and offers sources and solutions across all the main industrial laser technologies CO2, solid state and fibre lasers. Our lasers are employed in most manufacturing markets to give customers unprecedented results in terms of quality and throughput. We have over 30,000 installations in industries such as medical device, electronics, automotive, jewellery, tool and mould, aerospace and solar power. Examples demonstrating the range of capabilities of Rofin lasers include: * In-line packaging material manufacturers use our lasers to create ‘easy open’ perforated lines in packaging. * High street jewellers buy our microwelding workstations to make and repair jewellery. * Surgical tool and implant manufacturers produce clean and permanent identification marks on their products with Rofin markers. * Photovoltaic customers rely on laser operations from scribing to drilling to make solar panels and wafers. Rofin-Baasel welcomes the opportunity to show customers what lasers can do for them.

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