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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 power converters.

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.”

Rensselaer Polytechnic Recognizes Grad Student for New LED Light Extraction Technique
LIGHTimes News Staff

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. (Appl. 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 visibility.

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 Taiwan.

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 year.

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, 2015.

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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