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Startup Allos Semiconductors now Offers Licensing for Azzurro's GaN-on-Si Patents and Technology
LIGHTimes News Staff

December 16, 2014...ALLOS Semiconductors GmbH, a newly founded company based in Dresden, Germany, who specializes in GaN-on-Si technology, announced that it has acquired all the patents and technology of former Azzurro Semiconductors at an auction. In addition to its existing offering of GaN-on-Si technology ALLOS is now making the AZZURRO technology platform available through technology transfer, licencing and customised development work.

In June of 2014, ALLOS Semiconductors was formed to help meet the growing demand for technology of growing gallium nitride on silicon substrates (GaN-on-Si). An increasing number of LED and power semiconductor companies want to be able to grow 150 and 200 mm GaN-on-Si wafers to supply cost-effective high-quality GaN devices that can be processed in standard silicon fabs.

Allos complements the GaN-on-Si technology licensing with advice on business and technology strategies and support for setting up GaN-on-Si operations all the way from establishing a epitaxial wafer fab to market entry.

Cubic GaN Shows Potential for LEDs
LIGHTimes News Staff

December 16, 2014...Anvil Semiconductors and the Cambridge Centre for GaN at the University of Cambridge report having grown cubic GaN on 3C-SiC (silicon carbide) wafers using MOCVD. Anvil produced the underlying 3C-SiC layers using the company's patented stress relief IP that enables growth of device quality silicon carbide on 100mm diameter silicon wafers. Anvil contends that the process can work with 150mm diameter wafers and possibly beyond without modification and is therefore suitable for industrial-scale applications. In a project funded by Innovate UK, the MOCVD growth trials at Cambridge resulted in single phase, cubic GaN. The layers, characterized by XRD, TEM, photoluminescence and AFM, have potential for LED applications.

According to the researchers, the cubic GaN may be able to remove the strong internal electric fields, which plague conventional green LEDs, impair recombination, and make it difficult to address high internal quantum efficiency (IQE). Also, the researchers note that cubic GaN has a narrower bandgap and improved p-type electrical properties compared to the conventional hexagonal GaN phase used for LEDs. Therefore, a commercializable process to produce cubic GaN on large diameter silicon wafers may help increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of LED lighting.

The team plans to continue development to eventually fabricate sample LEDs before looking for an industry partner to commercialize the technology.

Sanan Orders 50 MOCVD Reators from Veeco for LED Production
LIGHTimes News Staff

December 12, 2014...Veeco Instruments Inc. of Plainview, New York USA, announced that Sanan Optoelectronics, the largest LED manufacturer in China, has ordered 50 TurboDisc® EPIK700™ Gallium Nitride (GaN) Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) reactors for the production of LEDs. This order is the equivalent of 25 EPIK700 MOCVD “C2” (cluster) systems.

“Sanan chose the EPIK700 due to its industry leading cost of ownership model and excellent footprint efficiency,” said Zhiqiang Lin, vice chairman and CEO of Sanan. “Our beta testing of EPIK700 proved its production-worthiness, and we are confident in its capabilities and value to our Xiamen business expansion plans. Veeco has been a great partner for Sanan as we have solidified our position as the top LED manufacturer in China and increased our business outside of China as well.”

Veeco's EPIK700 MOCVD system uses the company's TurboDisc technology to achieve a cost per wafer savings of up to 20 percent compared to previous generation MOCVD systems. The savings comes through increased productivity, improved wafer uniformity, and reduced operating expenses.

“This large order from Sanan, the largest single purchase order Veeco has received since 2009, speaks volumes about the EPIK700’s production readiness and the recovery in the MOCVD market,” said John Peeler, Veeco’s chairman and CEO. “We are in a great position to continue to serve our LED customers with the best MOCVD technology and customer support, and remain the industry leader.”

EV Group Establishes Nanoimprint Lithography Competence Center
LIGHTimes News Staff

December 4, 2014...EV Group (EVG) based in St. Florian, Austria, a supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment, announced that it has established the NILPhotonics(TM) Competence Center. The NILPhotonics(TM) Competence Center assists customers in leveraging EVG's suite of nanoimprint lithography (NIL) solutions for new and enhance photonics products and applications including LEDs and photovoltaic (PV) cells.

EVG says that in LEDs NIL-enabled photonic structures can improve light extraction, and in PV cells NIL-enabled photonic structures can improve light capturing. Additionally, NIL-enabled photonic structures in laser diodes enable device characteristic tailoring and optimization to improve performance. The Competence Center includes dedicated, global process teams, pilot-line production facilities and services at its cleanrooms at EVG's headquarters in Austria and its subsidiaries in Japan and North America.

EVG says that the new NILPhotonics Competence Center builds on the company's more than 15 years of NIL experience and what the company claims to be the largest installed base of NIL systems worldwide. EVG's NIL equipment portfolio includes the recently introduced EVG7200 UV-NIL system, which supports EVG's next-generation SmartNIL(TM) large-area soft NIL process for high-volume manufacturing. The company boasts that the EVG7200 with SmartNIL provides unmatched throughput and cost-of-ownership advantages over competing NIL approaches.

"Nanoimprint lithography is an enabling technology for the design and manufacture of all kinds of photonic structures, which can significantly shorten time to market and lower cost of production compared to conventional technologies, such as electron-beam writing and stepper systems for optical lithography," stated Markus Wimplinger, corporate technology development and IP director at EV Group.

"For example, compared with conventional lithography, our full-wafer nanoimprinting technology can pattern true three-dimensional structures in the sub-micron to nano-range as well as features as small as 20 nm, which opens up a range of new photonic applications.

With our NILPhotonics Competence Center, we're not just providing our customers with the most advanced NIL systems; we're also working closely with them during product development to help them determine how best to optimize their product designs and processes to take advantage of the resolution and cost-of-ownership benefits that NIL brings."

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 NSF.

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 systems.

“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 Aixtron.

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 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.

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