Structured Materials Awarded DOE $150,000 SBIR Grant
CompoundSemi News Staff
March 4, 2013...Structured Materials Industries Inc (SMI) of Piscataway, NJ, USA, a maker of
chemical vapor deposition (CVD) systems, has been awarded a $150,000 Small
Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 2013 Phase 1 grant by the US Department of
Energy (DOE) for the project ‘High-Current Low-Cost Efficient Power
Transistors for Household Appliances’. The project's goal is to develop
processing methods for the fabrication of high-quality metal-organic chemical
vapor deposition (MOCVD)-grown zinc oxide (ZnO) material for low-cost power
applications, particularly for use in home appliances. SMI says that ZnO
material offers a less costly material for power transistors in smaller-scale
SMI claims that ZnO can increase efficiency through greater speeds and
reduced power losses in switching power supplies. Through the project, the
company hopes to demonstrate a high-performance (high-current) power MOSFET
operating at up to 240V, with increased performance compared to equivalent
silicon-based devices at roughly equivalent production costs.
“ZnO provides an excellent material for significant performance
increases in everyday power electronics while also maintaining low-cost
production and minimal environmental impact,” said the
project’s leader, Dr Eric Gallo.
“ZnO power electronics for appliances is a very exciting emerging
field where we have a history of fundamental expertise,” commented
SMI’s president Dr Gary S. Tompa. “SMI has a strong history in
the design and production of ZnO growth systems, ZnO processes and applications
of ZnO,” he adds. “We expect to achieve a highly economical device
design that will be marketed as a high-performance alternative to presently
used and inefficient Si-based devices.”
BluGlass Produces p-type GaN using its Low Temperature RPCVD Technology
CompoundSemi News Staff
March 4, 2013...BluGlass based in Silverwater, Australia, reports that it has succeeded in
producing p-type gallium nitride (GaN) films with industry equivalent
electrical properties using its low temperature Remote Plasma Chemical Vapor
Deposition (RPCVD) technology when grown on top of MOCVD- grown GaN templates.
This development follows from the company’s proof of concept achievement
late last year. BluGlass says it will begin targeting improved LED device
efficiency using RPCVD grown p-GaN layers to demonstrate the commercial value
of a low temperature technology.
BluGlass asserts that with lower growth temperature than MOCVD,
BluGlass’ proprietary technology, RPCVD has the potential to allow LED
manufacturers to create higher performing devices by reducing the
multi–quantum well or active region’s exposure to high temperatures
which leads to a loss of performance.
BluGlass Chief Technology Officer Dr. Ian Mann commented, “The
next steps will see the technology focus on demonstrating that a low
temperature p-GaN layer can improve an LED’s efficiency over existing
commercial devices. We aim to do this by making a test LED device using RPCVD
to grow p-GaN on top of an MOCVD grown partial LED structure and to
subsequently measure the light output of the device.”
March 1, 2013...While one proven way to increase the light extraction efficiency of LEDs is to
roughen the surface, the random features on the LED’s surface can challenge the process of light control in the absence of a secondary optic. Ming Ma, a doctoral student Department of Materials Science and Engineering at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has devised method that enables 70 percent
light extraction that controls the surface structure and refractive index Ma is
one of three finalists for the 2013 $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize
for his project titled, “Graded-refractive-index (GRIN) Structures for
Brighter and Smarter Light-Emitting Diodes.” Ma invented a process for
creating LEDs with many tiny star-shaped pillars on the surface. Each pillar is
made up of five nanolayers engineered to help “carry” the light out
of the LED material and into the surrounding air.
The star-shaped pillars on the surface help to minimize the amount of light
that gets reflected back into the device, and thus boost the amount of light
emitted. Ma’s patent-pending technology, called GRIN
(graded-refractive-index) LEDs, has demonstrated a light-extraction efficiency
of 70 percent, meaning 70 percent of light escaped and only 30 percent was left
trapped inside the device.
The details were published in the October issue of Applied Physics Letters.
Phys. Lett. 101, 141105 (2012)) Content continues for LIGHTimes SecondPage members...
Aixtron Reports Revenues Down Sharply, But Recent Orders and Market Consensus Point to Improvement in 2013
CompoundSemi News Staff
February 28, 2013...
Aixtron of Aachen, Germany reported revenues that are down sharply for 2012
compared to 2011. The company announced revenues of EUR 227.8m and an EBIT loss
of EUR -132.3m a decline of 68 percent for the fiscal year 2012. However, the
company points to signs of market stabilization and an increasing consensus on
the market's improvement. Just two days prior, Aixtron announced multiple Crius
II-L system orders from Taiwan firm, Formosa Epitaxy.
The company says that while there was a slow recovery of revenues, order
intake for the year was virtually flat Aixtron says this reflects a reluctant
investment attitude by customers and a continuation of macroeconomic
uncertainty. Despite an improving market consensus on the potential outlook for
the back end of 2013, Aixtron says its management cannot offer a precise
revenue and EBIT margin guidance for the year, due to the prevailing low
The company reported that in the third quarter of 2012 long-term customer
Formosa Epitaxy Inc. (FOREPI) of Taiwan, placed a new order for multiple CRIUS
II-L MOCVD production systems in a 69x2-inch configuration. According to
FOREPI, the systems will be used for the manufacturing of ultra-high brightness
(UHB) GaN-based blue and white LEDs. All the CRIUS II-L systems will be
delivered with Aixtron’s new Argus Topside Temperature Control (TTC)
system. The new method eliminates temperature variation within each run and
run-to-run, enabling unmatched production yields.
Aixtron’s local service team has started installing and commissioning
the new systems in the fourth quarter of 2012 at FOREPI’s new factory in
the Pin-Jen industrial zone, Taiwan. The systems will be delivered in the
second quarter of 2013. In May 2012, FOREPI had already purchased several CRIUS
II-XL and AIX G5 HT reactors.
“This new order reflects our on-going satisfaction with
Aixtron’s products,” commented FOREPI’s chairman Dr.
Frank Chien. “Aixtron has proven itself as an excellent partner,
providing superior customer care by responding to our requests and delivering
the needed solutions. With short time-to-production, and highest performance
and throughput, Aixtron’s latest MOCVD generations meet the specific
challenges of larger wafers and maximum chip yields.”
“This latest multiple tool order reflects FOREPI’s growth as
a top-tier LED chip manufacturer. We are pleased to support this prized
customer with our latest technology. Besides reactor size and design, we
believe that successful in-situ measurement and control offer the greatest
optimization potential because they provide a direct impact on
yields,” commented Dr. Christian Geng, General Manager Aixtron
Tempo Industries Gets LED and Compound Semiconductor Industry Veteran For VP of R&D and Adds Staff for Production Ramp
LIGHTimes News Staff
February 26, 2013...Tempo Industries, LLC a manufacturer of modular and linear LED lighting
solutions announced that LED and solid state lighting industry veteran Michael
Bremser has joined the company to serve as Vice President, Research &
Development. Dr. Bremser served most recently as CTO & VP Engineering for
Lunera Lighting, with previous roles as VP of LED Products for Fulham and CTO
of Permlight. Dr. Bremser will lead Tempo’s technology implementation
team, overseeing product development, qualification, and volume deployment. Dr.
Bremser reports directly to Tempo Founder, Chairman and CTO, Dennis Pearson,
who has been the principal architect of Tempo's vision for LED lighting product
and systems development.
Michael Bremser earned his PhD. in Materials Science and Engineering from
North Carolina State University under the guidance of Prof. Robert Davis, a
pioneer of the epitaxial science for LEDs. Following his graduation, Dr.
Bremser managed the process engineering group at LED equipment manufacturer
Aixtron. He later served with industry consultants, the Compound Group, and
later in engineering operations for Emcore’s optical communications
components wafer fabrication division.
As part of Tempo’s continued overall expansion and production ramp,
the company also announced the the addition of Greg White as materials manager,
and Wayne Wofford, as inside sales manager. Content continues for LIGHTimes SecondPage members...
GT Advanced Technologies Enters Development and Licensing Agreement with Soitec
CompoundSemi News Staff
February 25, 2013...GT Advanced Technologies of Nashua, New Hampshire, and Soitec of Bernin,
France announced a development and licensing agreement. The agreement will
allowing GT to develop, manufacture and commercialize a high-volume,
multi-wafer HVPE system to produce GaN epi layers on substrates used in LEDs
and other industries such as power electronics. GT expects that the higher
growth rates and improved material from the HVPE system will significantly
reduce process costs and boost device performance compared with the traditional MOCVD process. Under the terms of the agreement, initial pre-payment of the licensing fees is underway, but further specific terms were not disclosed.
GT will offer an HVPE system that incorporates Soitec Phoenix Labs’ (a
subsidiary of Soitec) HVPE technology including its source delivery system that
reportedly lowers the costs of precursors delivered to the HVPE reactor. The
system will enable production of GaN template sapphire substrates at scale. The
target date for the commercial availability of the HVPE system is the second
half of 2014.
“We have been working for more than 6 years on GaN epi processes
and have created this breakthrough HVPE technology critical in producing
high-quality and low cost GaN layers on sapphire substrates,” said
Chantal Arena, VP and general manager of Soitec Phoenix Labs.
Tom Gutierrez, GT’s president and CEO, commented, “When
commercially available, we believe the new HVPE system will be a key element to
further reduce LED device costs and help propel the industry to greater levels
of competitiveness and growth.”
Emcore Solar Panels Power the Orbital-Built LDCM Satellite
CompoundSemi News Staff
February 25, 2013...Emcore Corporation of Albuequerque, New Mexico USA, announced that its
compound semiconductor-based BTJ triple-junction solar panels are powering the
Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) satellite. The LDCM satellite was
successfully launched on February 11, 2013 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in
California. Orbital Sciences Corporation designed, built and tested the LDCM
for NASA for the four decade running Landsat Earth observation program.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, which is responsible for mission
operations, launch, and in-orbit checkout, oversaw development of the flight
systems including the LDCM spacecraft and the onboard instruments. The U.S.
Geological Survey (USGS) will operate the satellite and the Landsat ground
network, image-processing and archive facilities. The data collected benefits
many industries including agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning,
education, mapping, emergency response and disaster relief. It also contributes
to research on climate and increases our understanding of visible human effects
on land surfaces.
After the spacecraft completes in-orbit testing and is operated by the USGS,
it will be renamed Landsat 8, reflecting its place in a legacy of
highly-productive spacecraft. The satellite has two new spectral bands that
will allow it to detect clouds on coastal zones, and it will produce more than
twice as many images per day than the Landsat 7. LDCM measures about 20 feet
tall with a 9-foot diameter at its widest point. Four Emcore solar panels
extend 32 feet from the satellite when deployed. They deliver 3,750 watts of
power at End-Of-Life (EOL).
Cree and Eta Devices to Demonstrate the Most Efficient Power Amplifier for Mobile Base Stations
CompoundSemi News Staff
February 25, 2013...Cree, Inc. and Eta Devices, Inc. will demonstrate what the company's claim
to be the world's most efficient power amplifier for mobile base stations at
the 2013 Mobile World Congress, February 24-28 in Barcelona, Spain.
While current generation mobile base station amplifiers using silicon LDMOS
transistors can provide amplifier efficiencies up to 45 percent, Eta Devices
says its next-generation power amplifiers can deliver greater than 70%
efficiency under a 4G LTE modulation format.
Jim Milligan, business director, Cree RF. "Our transistors have been
instrumental in demonstrating Eta Devices' amplifiers, which perform 50 percent
more efficiently than the best incumbent silicon power amplifiers currently
available in the 4G LTE market."
It's estimated that the world's mobile networks consume about 120TWh of
electricity per year, with 50-80 percent of these networks' power consumed by
their power amplifiers and associated components. ETA claims that it could save
up to 50 percent of the $36.5 billion spent to power mobile base stations each
Osram Coordinating BMBF Project for Infrared Laser Sources
CompoundSemi News Staff
February 22, 2013...As part of the ‘Integrated Microphotonics’ initiative, Osram
Opto Semiconductors is coordinating the IMOTHEB project (integrated
microoptical and microthermal elements for diode lasers of highbrilliance). The
goal is to improve the performance and reduce production costs of laser
systems. The project partners are DILAS Diode Laser and the Max Born Institute.
The project (FKZ 13N12312), which is supported by the German Ministry for
Education and Research (BMBF), runs from October 1, 2012 to September 30,
Osram notes that diode-pumped high-power laser systems for material
processing provide lower operating costs, greater efficiency and smaller size.
Fiber lasers and fiber-coupled diode lasers are becoming more and more
important for optical material processing but are more costly. Therefore
researchers need to improve performance while reducing costs of infrared
semiconductor laser diodes, which can be used to pump fiber lasers.
The project maps the entire value chain from the semiconductor chip to the
complete laser system. The semiconductor lasers, cooling elements, optics, and
sensors will be targets of performance improvement and cost reduction. They
also plan to increase the output of semiconductor lasers by 40 percent by
September 2015, while retaining the same high beam quality.
Simulations are being subcontracted to the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied
Optics and Precision Engineering. DILAS is responsible for the assembly
technology with improved thermal resistance and higher integration in laser
modules, and also for automation in module production. The Max Born Institute
will analyze and characterize the chips and modules.
Naneo Precision IBS Coatings Expands Capacity with Veeco IBD System
CompoundSemi News Staff
February 18, 2013...Veeco Instruments Inc. based in Plainview, New York USA,
reports that Naneo Precision IBS Coatings GmbH, an optical coatings
company located in Rheinbreitbach, Germany, recently ordered a
Spector® Ion Beam Deposition (IBD) System. The Spector system
will be used to produce high quality optics for applications
including ultrafast optics, high power lasers, raman spectroscopy,
telecommunications, and aerospace. Naneo specializes in the
production of custom made precision optical coatings for high end
applications in the laser and photonics industry.
Daniel Kopf, Chief Executive Officer at NANEO, commented, “Veeco’s
Spector IBD system allows us the process flexibility needed to
meet growing demand for our high precision optics providing
excellent precision and uniformity, lowest loss and high laser
damage threshold. Veeco’s reliable platform makes them an ideal
partner as we ramp production.”
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