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If you're looking for LED or Solid State Lighting News...

You're darn right they're part of the compounds, but we're also proud to say that the LED segment has "graduated" and can benefit from publications that are more dedicated to those topics. For news on the broad LED industry, outside of general lighting, along with the materials and technology supply chain, visit LIGHTimes Online. For a higher level view of LEDs in general lighting, you can visit Solid State Lighting Design, which covers packaged "lighting quality" LEDs through subsystems, luminaires and application stories.


Nanojoin Selects Veeco MOCVD Systems for LED Production Ramp
LIGHTimes News Staff

October 7, 2014...Veeco Instruments Inc. of Plainview, New York USA, reported that Suzhou Nanojoin Photonics Co., Ltd. (Nanojoin) has purchased multiple TurboDisc® MaxBright™ M™ Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) Systems. According to Veeco, Nanojoin plans to use the systems for high-volume production of LEDs for general lighting.

Nanojoin placed the order for Veeco’s MaxBright M MOCVD systems in Q3 of 2014. Nanojoin, a chinese company that develops and produces solid state lighting products in addition to LED wafers and chips, currently employs both single and multi-reactor Veeco MOCVD systems in its production fab.

According to Veeco, the MaxBright M offers a compact, modular, design for improved serviceability. Veeco says that it is about 15 percent smaller, but has the same yield as the standard MaxBright MOCVD system. The system offers many layout configuration options to fit various fab spacing requirements, such as sub-floor storage, which enables more wafer starts per square foot and a reduced cost of ownership.

“After careful evaluation of all platforms, we have determined that Veeco’s MOCVD technology provides the unique advantages needed to successfully ramp LED production,” said Wang Huaibing, general manager at Nanojoin. “As we look to capitalize on growing adoption of energy efficient lighting, we required an MOCVD system that is both stable and productive. Veeco simply has the best platform for high volume manufacturing.”

Epistar Qualifies Veeco EPIK700 MOCVD System for High-volume LED Production
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 30, 2014...Veeco Instruments Inc. based in Plainview, New York USA, reported that Epistar Corporation has successfully evaluated and accepted the new TurboDisc® EPIK700™ Gallium Nitride (GaN) Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) system for LED production.

“As the leader in LED technology and commercialization, it is vital that we continue to push our roadmap to reduce solid state lighting costs with the most innovative and efficient production solutions available,” said Dr. MJ Jou, president, Epistar Corporation. “EPIK’s performance, reliability and production readiness, as well as the support we received from Veeco during the beta testing phase, fully met our high manufacturing standards. The seamless recipe transfer from our installed base of Veeco K465i™ and MaxBright® systems to the EPIK700 is allowing us to quickly produce production-quality LED devices. In addition, the EPIK700’s cost of ownership advantage will help reduce our cost per wafer, making it a highly attractive platform for our future capacity expansions.”

Veeco claims that its newly launched EPIK700 MOCVD system, which is based on its TurboDisc technology, enables customers to achieve a cost per wafer savings of up to 20 percent compared to previous MOCVD systems through increased productivity, reduced operating expenses, and improved wafer uniformity.

San’an Optoelectronics Places Large Order for Aixtron MOCVD Systems
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 25, 2014...Aixtron reports that San’an Optoelectronics has ordered 50 of its Next Generation Showerhead® MOCVD systems. The order is reportedly one of the largest that Aixtron has ever received. Aixtron says that San’an order is part of growing evidence that LED makers are starting to expand production capacity. Delivery of the equipment is scheduled for Q4/2014. An Aixtron service team will install all systems at San’an’s Chinese production facility. San’an reportedly plans to use the systems to expand the company’s capacity for producing gallium-nitride (GaN)-based ultra-high brightness LED chips.

Veeco Introduces EPIK700 MOCVD System for LED Production
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 4, 2014...Veeco Instruments Inc. of Plainview, New York USA, launched the new TurboDisc® EPIK700™ Gallium Nitride (GaN) metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system. The company boasts that the EPIK700 combines the industry’s highest productivity and best-in-class yields with low cost of operation. Veeco says that the EPIK700 system further enables lower manufacturing costs for LEDs for general lighting applications. Veeco also claims that the EPIK700 MOCVD system enables customers to achieve a cost per wafer savings of up to 20 percent compared to previous generations.

According to Veeco, the savings results from improved wafer uniformity, reduced operating expenses, and increased productivity. The EPIK700 system has reactor with more than double the capacity of current generation reactors. The increased volume and productivity advancements within the reactor result in a 2.5x throughput advantage over previous generation MOCVD systems.

The EPIK700 system is available in one-and two-reactor configurations and features new technologies including the company's IsoFlange™ center injection flow and TruHeat™ wafer coil that offer homogeneous laminar flow and uniform temperature profile across the entire wafer carrier. EPIK700 accommodates 31x4”, 12x6” and 6x8” wafer carrier sizes. Veeco asserts that customers can easily transfer processes from existing TurboDisc systems to the new EPIK700 MOCVD platform for production of LEDs.

“The EPIK700 is our latest in a distinguished line of technologically advanced MOCVD reactors,” said William J. Miller , Ph.D., executive vice president, Veeco. “We are pleased to say that one of the world’s top LED manufacturers has thoroughly evaluated and accepted the EPIK700 due to its production worthiness, stable process and reproducible results. We anticipate that this new product will help our customers further succeed in the solid-state lighting market, by driving down LED manufacturing costs and increasing productivity.”

“The EPIK700 is another game-changer for the LED industry,” said Jim Jenson , senior vice president and general manager, Veeco MOCVD. “In addition to higher capacity and throughput, the system contains proprietary technologies within the reactor that improve wavelength uniformity and drive higher yields in a tighter bin. By combining the advanced TurboDisc reactor design with excellent uniformity, higher productivity, proven automation, low consumable costs and improved footprint efficiency, we have significantly improved the cost per wafer for our customers.”

Ammono Creates More Economical p-type Bulk GaN
LIGHTimes News Staff

August 27, 2014...Ammono S.A., a producer of bulk gallium nitride (GaN) using ammonothermal technology based in Warsaw, Poland, has added p-type bulk AMMONO-GaN substrates to its portfolio. The company points out that providing electronics majority charge carriers (n-type) though dedicated donor doping can increase GaN conductivity. However, Ammono says that successful and efficient p-type doping of GaN was always difficult technologically because typically acceptors required high activation energy. Previously, epitaxial methods or ion implementation could only obtain thin layers of p-type GaN. The ammonothermal process incorporates the acceptor during the growth, resulting in a greater hole concentration and p-type conductivity, without creating structural defects.

The dislocation density in p-type AMMONO-GaN remains the same as that of n-type AMMONO-GaN substrates, being below 5×104 cm-2. Carrier (free hole) concentration in this material is at the level of 1016 cm-3 while electrical resistivity is 10-100 Ω*cm. According to Ammono, these new p-type GaN substrates should enable the construction of novel devices. The introduction of such a new substrate offers new potential for device architectures. The company expects that LEDs, laser diodes, high-frequency transistors, and high power transistors and high-frequency transistors may gain many performance benefits using the new material.

Dr. Marcin Zajac will present details about the new material during the International Workshop on Nitride Semiconductors (IWN2014) in Wroclaw, Poland on August 25th (Growth 1 session at 15:45).

DOE Publishes 2014 SSL Manufacturing R&D Roadmap
SSL Design News Staff

August 21, 2014...The U.S. Department of Energy published the 2014 Solid-State Lighting Manufacturing R&D Roadmap. The updated Roadmap complements the SSL R&D Multi-Year Program Plan that guides the Product Development and Core Technology R&D programs. One of the roadmap's goals is to guide the Manufacturing R&D program and help direct funding solicitations for it. The Roadmap also offers guidance for material and equipment suppliers, based on industry consensus about the expected evolution of SSL manufacturing.

Industry feedback for the updated report comes from a series of roundtables with invited experts and from the attendees of DOE's SSL Manufacturing R&D Workshop that was held in May in San Diego. The 2014 Roadmap adds the discussion of the OLED manufacturing cost model. DOE says it will continue to update the Roadmap annually in collaboration with industry partners, to provide an outline of research and process development priorities, and new analysis as the technology and marketplace evolve.

Download the 2014 Manufacturing Roadmap.

Navigant Consulting conducted the analysis update. Navigant concluded that in the U.S. the annual source energy savings from LED lighting in 2013 more than doubled from the previous year to 188 trillion British thermal units (BTUs). Navigant points out that this is equivalent to an annual energy cost savings of about $1.8 billion.

While these current energy savings are significant, market penetration is still quite modest. Navigant estimates that LED-based A-lamps make up only about 1 percent of all installed A-lamps. However, the company asserts that growth is happening rapidly. Navigant also reported that from 2012 to 2013 that the U.S. installed base of LEDs in general lighting applications had more than doubled to about 105 million units.

Navigant further concluded this that the 188 trillion BTU savings is a tiny fraction that of the potential energy savings that complete adoption of SSL lighting in U.S., 4.1 quadrillion BTU. Navigant says that while widespread adoption may be several years in the future, the potential reveals the need of developing a robust, high-capacity manufacturing capability for SSL. Market adoption is likely to accelerate as prices continue to fall, and unit sales are expected to increase at a much faster rate than revenues, according to Navigant.

In response to this energy-saving opportunity, the DOE launched the SSL manufacturing initiative in 2009 to improve SSL product quality and consistency, establish a strong SSL manufacturing base, and support reductions in SSL manufacturing cost in the U.S.

Current projects that the DOE Manufacturing Initiative supports include Philips Lumileds’ development of patterned sapphire substrate technology for lighting caliber LEDs, Cree’s development of lower cost integrated LED luminaires, and OLEDWorks’ development of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) deposition technology for OLED lighting products. DOE-supported SSL manufacturing R&D projects cover much of the value chain of SSL production, including designs for lower costs, process improvements, manufacturing equipment, testing, and materials.

The DOE engaged the LED community through a "Round-Table" meeting of invited experts to review the state of LED-SSL manufacturing technology and identify areas for improvement. The DOE followed the meeting with its SSL Manufacturing R&D workshop and a post-workshop conference call held among participants.

The participants drew several conclusions:

  1. Achieving the targeted color point adds complexity and cost to the luminaire manufacturing process especially in applications demanding tight color control.
  2. Long-term color stability is still poorly understood for LED -based lighting products and (probably OLED as well). Mitigating color shift over time adds to the cost of LED lighting products. Furthermore, the participants report concludes that the ability to understand and predict color shift over time would simplify the manufacturing process, reduce manufacturing costs, and increase consumer confidence in LED lighting products.
  3. Luminaire manufacturing is now putting less emphasis on the lamp-fixture paradigm and placing more emphasis on integrated luminaires minimize cost and maximize efficiency.
  4. The report concludes that highly flexible luminaire and module manufacturing will be needed to accommodate the enormous variety of designs that customers demanded. Production lines will have to be efficient and cost-effective, even with relatively low numbers for any given product variant. The required production line improvements may call for innovative and perhaps more flexible manufacturing methods and equipment.
  5. The manufacturing of phosphors and down converters and their process of being applied to LEDs is costly, and innovations in this area could potentially reduce cost, simplify the manufacturing process, improve color quality, increase light output, and improve efficacy.
  6. The domestic OLED community could work together to create a viable OLED lighting manufacturing infrastructure and promote consumer acceptance of OLED products. Larger volume production is required to exercise the supply chain and manufacturing processes in order to identify weaknesses and opportunities.
  7. The OLED community is preparing to introduce products for lighting by examining the barriers in the adoption of LED lighting and understanding the needs of lighting designers and luminaire makers.
  8. OLED fabrication methods including vapor deposition approaches and hybrid approaches are being explored. Efforts are underway to promote a panel fabrication process solution.

The report concluded that currently, the main challenge for LED lighting is to continue ramping up production and drive down costs while maintaining product quality and consistency. The emerging challenge is to demonstrate to consumers the value that LED technology offers in terms of extended lifetime, energy consumption and added functionality while avoiding consumer disappointment.

In the short-term, the expansion of LED lighting manufacturing capacity will require the refinement of existing manufacturing approaches. Longer-term, it will require the introduction of innovative approaches to lighting product design and manufacturing.

The report asserts that the biggest challenge for OLEDs is to develop acceptable, cost-effective manufacturing processes beyond what is being done for the manufacturing of OLED displays and build demand by identifying lighting applications that play to the strengths of OLED technology.

Researchers Successfully Grow 2-Inch Diameter Substrate With a Lower Lattice Mismatch than Sapphire
LIGHTimes News Staff

August 12, 2014...Researchers from Fukuda Crystal Laboratory have successfully produced a crystal substrate with less lattice mismatch than sapphire. Professor Takashi Matsuoka of the Fukuda Crystal Laboratory led the group of researchers who successfully produced the new 2-inch diameter substrate ScAlMgO4 (SCAM) material. The researchers developed the new material to be used with GaN used in LEDs and laser diodes. The researchers note that the material has significantly less lattice mismatch than sapphire.

According to the researchers, the lattice mismatch of the material with GaN is down to just 1.8 percent. The researchers used the Czochralski method to grow the crystals. An an additional benefit of the material is that it can be sliced and processed into substrate wafers without need of cutting or grinding. X-ray diffraction of the C-plane cleavage of the process was used to evaluate crystal material. The half width of the material is 12.9 seconds, therefore, the crystal quality is apparently comparable to the perfect crystal of Si.

Unlike sapphire, SCAM material is ready for the epi cleavage process without cutting or grinding from the ingot. Thus, it can reduce the cost of wafer processing. Other researchers at Tohoku University successfully grew a GaN-based LED structure on the SCAM substrate at a high temperature of 1040 ℃ using MOCVD technology.

The research group hopes to proceed larger diameter, 4-inch to 6-inch SCAM substrates. The Fukuda Institute of Technology also hopes to collaborate with the domestic manufacturers to start selling 2-inch diameter crystal wafers next spring.

Vishay Semiconductor Orders Aixtron System to Produce Wider Range of IR LED Products
LIGHTimes News Staff

August 5, 2014...Vishay Semiconductor GmbH, Heilbronn, Germany has acquired an MOCVD system from Aixtron to expand its production capacity for infrared LEDs. Vishay plans to substantially expand its range infrared LED products. Aixtron delivered the system to Vishay at the end of March.

“We opted for Aixtron’s planetary reactor, as it deposits high-quality layers and offers very high production stability, long operating times, and high throughput rates. Not only that, Aixtron will support us with process expertise, thus enabling us to rapidly and efficiently expand our gallium arsenide-based infrared LED production,” said Dr. Heinz Nather, senior vice president OPTO Division at Vishay Semiconductor.

Dr. Frank Schulte, vice president of Aixtron Europe said, “We have great expectations of our ongoing cooperation with Vishay.”

Vishay Semiconductor GmbH in Heilbronn, Germany forms part of Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. of Malvern, Pennsylvania, USA, which has about 22,000 employees and sales of almost US$ 2.5 billion.

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