LC-Tec's modern clean-room environment in Sweden has a total area of 270m2 and houses an advanced STN production line with a high degree of automatization. This allows for volume manufacturing together with high quality and yield.
With regard to the general manufacturing steps, the process steps are as follows:
1) 14 x 16 inch glass substrates (mother-plates) ready-coated with ITO provided by our supplier.
2) ITO patterning using wet chemical etching processes. Many individual liquid crystal devices can be manufactured on each 14 x 16 inch substrate simultaneously (depending on size).
3) Insulation "hardcoat" layers (top-coat) and liquid crystal alignment "polyimide" layers flexographically "off-set" printed onto the 14 x 16 inch glass substrates followed by thermal curing.
4) Polyimide alignment layers on inner-surfaces of both substrates mechanically rubbed using velvet-cloth in order to define alignment directions of liquid crystal molecules.
5) Edge seal "gasket" screen-printed onto 14 x 16 inch substrates. Gasket defines edges of each individual liquid crystal device.
6) Two pieces glass substrates assembled together into pairs to form a "panel" and small distance "spacers" placed in-between the glass substrates with an exact diameter for accurate cell-gap control. Gasket adhesive thermally cured.
7) Individual liquid crystal devices cut from the 14 x 16 inch mother-panel. Many individual pieces may be yielded from each mother-panel depending on size of each device.
8) Individual liquid crystal devices vacuum-filled with LC material through a "filling-port" in the gasket edge seal.
9) Filled liquid crystal devices mechanically pressed in order to squeeze out excess LC material and push the two glass substrates together so that they make mechanical contact with the "spacers" present in-between the glass plates.
10) Filling-port sealed (end-seal) in order to prevent LC material from leaking out.