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11-12-2013, 06:36 PM #1
GT Advanced to Use Particle Accelerator to Cut Sapphire Glass Production Costs
Apple’s new sapphire glass manufacturing partner, GT Advanced, reportedly owns some very advanced technology to manufacture extremely thin sheets of sapphire with an emphasis on using an economical method. The folks over at TechCrunch have discovered a company called Twin Creeks that GT Advanced acquired late last year, which developed a hydrogen particle accelerator as a cheaper alternative to saws when attempting to slice larger chunks of sapphire for use on electronics. The following was mentioned regarding the technology:
Twin Creeks’ hydrogen ion particle accelerator (basically an ion cannon) allowed them to place wafers around the edges of the device and smash them with hydrogen ions. Here’s a description of the process from Extreme Tech:
"A particle accelerator bombards these wafers with hydrogen ions, and with exacting control of the voltage of the accelerator, the hydrogen ions accumulate precisely 20 micrometers from the surface of each wafer. A robotic arm then transports the wafers to a furnace where the ions expand into hydrogen gas, which cause the 20-micrometer-thick layer to shear off."
The process, when applied to solar, is then followed up by backing the sheets with flexible metal. The result is a huge reduction in thickness of sheets without the use of saws. This results in a big reduction in costs.
By doing this, Apple could stretch out the production and cost factors of sapphire enough to support manufacturing full-size display cover sheets, not just small wearable panels, buttons or protective camera covers. This, in turn, could mean sapphire cover sheets that are harder and tougher than standard glass materials on your iPhone years sooner than most analysts have predicted.
11-13-2013, 05:57 AM #2
"(basically an ion cannon)"
Didn't the rebellion use an ion canon in the Empire Strikes Back to take out a Star Destroyer?
11-13-2013, 09:37 AM #3
That is a really awsume piece of equipment.
11-13-2013, 09:37 AM #4
I just can't help but feel Apple has helped to push the science behind devices to levels beyond previously even considered. Just the idea of a particle generator being used to make electronics seems pretty damn cool, IMHO.