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Carnegie Mellon Researchers Create New Form of Silicon with Potential for Solar and LEDs
LIGHTimes News Staff
November 20, 2014...While direct band gap materials can effectively absorb and emit light,
indirect band gap materials, like diamond-structured silicon, cannot. A team of
researchers at Carnegie Mellon university headed by Timothy Strobel, have
created a new form of silicon with a quasi-direct band gap that falls within
the desired range for solar absorption. The silicon they created is an
allotrope, a different physical form of the same element. The silicon consists
of a zeolite-type structure that is comprised of channels with five-, six- and
eight-membered silicon rings.
The researchers created the new silicon with a novel high-pressure precursor
process. First, the team produced a compound of silicon and sodium, Na4Si24
under high-pressure. Then, the compound was brought back down to ambient
pressure. Next, it was heated under a vacuum to completely remove the sodium.
According to the researchers, the resulting pure silicon allotrope, Si24, can
absorb, and potentially emit, light far more effectively than conventional
diamond-structured silicon. Si24 is stable at ambient pressure to at least 842
degrees Fahrenheit (450 degrees Celsius).
“High-pressure precursor synthesis represents an entirely new
frontier in novel energy materials,”stated Strobel. “Using
the unique tool of high pressure, we can access novel structures with real
potential to solve standing materials challenges. Here we demonstrate
previously unknown properties for silicon, but our methodology is readily
extendible to entirely different classes of materials. These new structures
remain stable at atmospheric pressure, so larger-volume scaling strategies may
be entirely possible.”
“This is an excellent example of experimental and theoretical
collaboration,” said Kim. “Advanced electronic structure
theory and experiment have converged to deliver a real material with exciting
prospects. We believe that high-pressure research can be used to address
current energy challenges, and we are now extending this work to different
materials with equally exciting properties.”
The research work was supported by DARPA and Energy Frontier Research in
Extreme Environments (EFree), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science. Portions of the work were
performed at HPCAT, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory. HPCAT
operations are supported by DOE-NNSA and DOE-BES, with partial funding by the
Aixtron Launches AIX R6 for LED Manufacturing
LIGHTimes News Staff
November 11, 2014...At the China SSL international trade fair, Aixtron SE of Herzogenrath
Germany, officially launched the AIX R6 MOCVD system for the production of
gallium nitride (GaN)-based LEDs. San’an previously ordered the system.
The company can deliver the system in 12×6-, 31×4-, 121×2-inch wafer
configurations. Aixtron claims that the new tool will lower operational costs
significantly while simplifying process control and usability. The company
based the AIX R6 design on its Close Coupled Showerhead (CCS) concept. The new
system boasts a more than 30 percent cost of ownership improvement and a
throughput increase of more than 120 percent compared to current generation
“Our new AIX R6 addresses the most important challenges which LED
manufacturers face today: highly competitive markets with consistently
decreasing device prices driving the need for production equipment with lower
cost of ownership. The AIX R6 is designed to fulfill our customers’ needs
for highly efficient production enabling them to optimize their cost of
manufacturing,” said Martin Goetzeler, CEO and president of
Andreas Toennis, chief technology officer at Aixtron, stated, “The
AIX R6 has been developed with a high focus on the customer production needs.
We put great emphasis on maximizing the throughput by greater capacity, more
automation, increased reliability and longer uptime. Improved process control
through enhanced temperature monitoring and control systems is another key
feature of the AIX R6. A new process control system eliminates temperature
variation for increased reproducibility and yield, and also enables shorter
cycle times and fast calibration.”
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
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
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
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
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
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
The participants drew several conclusions:
- Achieving the targeted color point adds complexity and cost to the
luminaire manufacturing process especially in applications demanding tight
- 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
- Luminaire manufacturing is now putting less emphasis on the lamp-fixture
paradigm and placing more emphasis on integrated luminaires minimize cost
and maximize efficiency.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
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.
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