Laser annealing system is a reformation of surfaces of materials or surface heat-temper marking process. The heat generated by the high temperature of the laser beam results in an oxidation process beneath the surface of the material, causing a change of color on the surface of the metal. This murky, long-lasting mark is perfect for medical devices where removal of material is forbidden to safeguard performance and integrity of the same.
In simpler terms, laser annealing achieves the annealing process by using a laser, heating the surface of materials rapidly and permitting it to cool by itself, and this procedure can be achieved in the open air. The elementary apparatus for the laser annealing process is a structure that probes the exterior of a material on a powerful scanner for directing a laser beam by using a contracting lens.
Initially, p-Si was designed by heating in a furnace at high temperatures. Nevertheless, this had many problems such as high temperatures affecting the substrate adversely as well as the process taking a lot of time. As heating at low temperature by laser annealing heats the surface of the material faster and lets it to cool down by itself. By this, the difficulties caused by heating in a furnace at high temperature are solved. This in turn will act as a driving factor for the growth of the overall laser annealing system market.
High cost can be considered as a challenge for this market. Owing to the cost of laser annealing, numerous SMEs or small and medium scale industries are incapable to meet the expenses of a good quality laser annealing. Although there is visible change in the direction of the structured or established companies operational in the semiconductor industry, a substantial portion of the global annealed semiconductors is supplied by SMEs. However, laser annealing system has many financial benefits that manufacturers can take advantage of to enhance their profit margins in the long term owing to the decreasing trend of technology in the semiconductor industry.
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The laser annealing market may be segregated based on type of beam, application and geography. By type of beam, the market is bifurcated into line beam method and multi lens array method. Until the current Gen8 generation, primarily line beams have been used for the process of annealing. These beams expose the anterior surface of a silicon film on a substrate made of glass, to anneal it. However, presently, multi lens lasers have been developed, and the expansion of miniscule annealing by multiple lenses is on the rise.
This segment will grow substantially over the forecast period owing to enhanced process efficiency as the annealing is done primarily inside the transistor. By application, the global laser annealing market can be divided into WLA (wafer/substrate local laser anneal), local transistor repair, local bonding, local area pattern correction, and others. Among the application segments, WLA held a significant share of the market owing to the customization offered by the same.
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In terms of geography, the global laser annealing market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa. Presently, North America region has the maximum share in the global market. The presence of large number of companies operating in the laser annealing market as well as the recent regulations concerning 3D printing especially in the healthcare industry in countries such as the U.S. and Canada are expected to fuel the growth in the laser annealing system market.
The key players in the laser annealing system market are PennWell Corporation, Gigaphoton, Sumitomo Heavy Industories, Ltd., and Fine Semitech Corp. Some of other players operating in the market are Amada Miyachi, Ultratech, Inc., Y.A.C. Co.,Ltd., and IPG Photonics Corporation.