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IQE and II-VI Inc. Launch 150mm GaN HEMT Epi Wafers on SiC Substrates
CompoundSemi News Staff
May 13, 2013...IQE of Cardiff, UK announced the launch of gallium nitride based, high
electron mobility transistor (GaN HEMT) epitaxial wafers on 150mm diameter
semi-insulating silicon carbide (SiC) substrates. The SiC substrates are
supplied by the WBG Materials subsidiary of II-VI Inc., a provider of
IQE says that GaN power amplifiers offer superior power capability,
efficiency, bandwidth and linearity compared with silicon (Si) or gallium
arsenide (GaAs)-based technologies commonly used. IQE contends that GaN power
amplifiers also lower overall system costs. Additionally, the company says that
GaN-based low-noise amplifiers exhibit improved robustness, noise figure and
dynamic range when compared to incumbent solutions. According to IQE, GaN-based
transistors can operate at high temperatures, thus reducing system cost, size
IQE says that the higher cost of epitaxial material grown on 100mm SiC
substrates has limited the commercial market penetration of GaN HEMTs. However,
IQE says that its 150mm products are compatible with LDMOS processing lines,
and its customers have demonstrated the use of LDMOS to fabricate GaN HEMTs.
Russ Wagner, VP of IQE wireless business unit said,"Scaling up to 150mm
wafer diameter is a critical milestone on the path to technological maturity
and wide market acceptance of GaN HEMTs on SiC." Wagner added,"We are
very pleased with the quality of substrates supplied by II-VI Inc. and look
forward to continuing our partnership as we execute volume production ramp and
expand IQE's range of advanced high-power high-frequency transistor products
for defense and wireless infrastructure applications."
Researchers Use Strain Engineering to Improve Green LED Light Output
LIGHTimes News Staff
May 8, 2013...Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of
Semiconductors, Beijing, and University of Hong Kong have used strain
engineering to improve the light output of Green LEDs. The researchers improved
the light output of a 530nm green LED operating at 150 mA by 28.9 percent [Hongjian Li et al, Appl. Phys.
Express, vol6, p052102, 2013].
The researchers note that green-emitting nitride semiconductor LED
structures tend to suffer from low light output due to the difficulty in
producing the high-indium-content indium gallium nitride (InGaN) needed for
longer-wavelength light emission. In addition to the material quality
challenge, strain induced by the lattice mismatch with pure GaN leads to large
piezoelectric effects, giving electric fields that tend to pull electrons and
holes apart, reducing rates of recombination into photons (i.e. the
quantum-confined Stark effect, or QCSE), thus reducing quantum efficiency.
The Chinese team inserted a layer of lower-indium-content InGaN before the
high-In-content light-emitting layer. Simulations suggested that such a layer
could reduce the strain-dependent electric fields in the active light-emitting
multiple quantum well (MQW) structure.
MOCVD on C-plane sapphire was used to produce epitaxial material with a
low-In-content InGaN shallow quantum well (SQW) step. A 325nm helium-cadmium
laser was used to excite the photoluminescence spectra of the materials at low
temperature (85K) and room temperature (298K). One effect of the SQW was to
reduce the width of the spectral peak full-width at half maximum (FWHM) at 85K
from 16.7nm for the conventional LED material to 13.1nm for the SQW material.
The 298K measurement reduced the conventional FWHM of 20.1nm to 15.7nm. The
peak intensity was also higher with the SQW structure, therefore the SQW
material had improved crystal quality.
The peak height for the SQW material at 298K was 55.1% that at 85K. The
corresponding ratio for the conventional structure was 24.1%. The higher ratio
for the SQW material indicates a higher rate of radiative recombination and
higher internal quantum efficiency (IQE).
The electroluminescence was measured in an integrating sphere, giving light
output power–current–voltage (L–I–V) results. The
voltage performance is similar in the SQW and conventional devices. However,
the light output at 150mA is 28.9% greater in the SQW LED (49.3mW) over the
conventional device (38.4mW).
The researchers point out that improved overlap of the electron and hole
wavefunctions in the device leads to improved recombination into photons. The
external quantum efficiency (EQE) increased from 10.2–13.3% over the
conventional LED performance.
TriQuint Produces GaN HEMTs Using GaN-on-Diamond Wafers
CompoundSemi News Staff
May 6, 2013...TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. of Hillsboro, Oregon USA, announced the
production of gallium nitride (GaN) high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs)
using GaN-on-diamond wafers. The GaN-on-diamond wafers substantially reduce
semiconductor temperatures while maintaining high RF performance. TriQuint
successfully transfered a semiconductor epitaxial overlay onto a synthetic
diamond substrate. This provides high thermal conductivity and low thermal
boundary resistance, while preserving critical GaN crystalline layers.
TriQuint demonstrated its new GaN-on-diamond, high electron mobility
transistors (HEMT) in conjunction with partners at the University of Bristol,
Group4 Labs and Lockheed Martin under the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency’s (DARPA) Near Junction Thermal Transport (NJTT) program. TriQuint
claims that its new technology enables RF amplifiers that are up to three times
smaller or up to three times the power of today’s GaN solutions.
NJTT focuses on device thermal resistance 'near the junction' of the
transistor. Thermal resistance inside device structures can be responsible for
more than 50% of normal operational temperature increases. TriQuint research
has shown that GaN RF devices can operate at a much higher power density and in
smaller sizes, through its highly effective thermal management techniques.
Operating temperature largely determines high performance semiconductor
reliability. It’s especially critical for GaN devices that are capable of
very high power densities.
James L. Klein, vice president and general manager for infrastructure and
defense products commented, “By increasing the thermal conductivity
and reducing device temperature, we are enabling new generations of GaN devices
that may be much smaller than today’s products. ”
CrystAl-N Launches 2-Inch Bulk AlN
CompoundSemi News Staff
May 6, 2013...CrystAl-N, a German maker of AlN crystals is shifting its production from
1-inch to 2-inch AlN and accepting pre-orders of the new material. CrystAl-N is accepting pre-orders now. The company was founded in 2010 as a spin-off of Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg. The company
says that its AlN substrates will boost the efficiency of deep UV LEDs, lasers
and high-power, high-frequency devices as soon as its cost-performance ratio is competitive. Furthermore CrystAl-N says that shifting production to larger
substrates will help to improve cost performance ratio.
Company CTO Boris Epelbaum commented, "Further diameter increase in our
patented tungsten based furnaces is not limited as we are using SiC as initial
Wafer polishing drastically improved as well for the AlN substrates.
"The corresponding wafers feature surface roughness of less than 0.3 nm and
are highly UV transparent," said Octavian Filip, director of wafering.
IQE Launches New, Dedicated Infrared Products Division
CompoundSemi News Staff
May 6, 2013...IQE of Cardiff, UK, announced the launch of a new division, ‘IQE
Infrared’. IQE Infrared will provide its customers with a complete
‘one stop shop’ for infrared substrate and epitaxial wafer
materials covering short to very long wavelength (SWIR to VLWIR) regimes. The
new division launch is part of IQE’s overall rebranding to enable the
Group to enhance its customers' experiences in its key markets.
IQE is a leading supplier of substrates and epitaxial wafers for infrared
sensing applications ranging from night vision and thermal imaging devices to
energy conversion solutions for both military and consumer products. The new
IQE Infrared will focus on infrared detector materials based on gallium and
indium antimonide (GaSb and InSb) and indium phosphide (InP). Dr. Mark J.
Furlong, currently General Manager of IQE’s substrate divisions, will
head the new division which will offer products from across the IQE Group of
Dr. Mark J. Furlong, VP IQE Infrared, stated, “The opportunity to
establish a new business unit with an exclusive focus on infrared materials
will give IQE better opportunities to combine its substrate and epitaxial wafer
products for serving a broader range of customers and even broader range of
infrared device applications."
Research into High-thermal-conductivity Substrates for GaN Electronics Gets UK Funding
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 29, 2013...Researchers from the University of Bath and the University of Bristol will
receive funding totaling more than £823,800 from UK’s Engineering and
Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) over the next three years years. The
project is to develop highly thermally conductive substrates for GaN
A £430,597 grant (EPSRC reference EP/K024337/1) was awarded to the
University of Bath’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
with principal investigator Dr DWE Allsopp joined by professor W Wang. A
£393,218 grant (EPSRC reference EP/K024345/1) goes to the University of
Bristol’s Department of Physics, with principal investigator professor M
Kuball and professor D Cherns. IQE Silicon Compounds Ltd, NXP Semiconductors UK
Ltd and Plessey Semiconductors Ltd will partner with the University of
According to the researchers, AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors
(HEMTs) will enable future power conditioning applications, and be used for high
efficiency military and civilian, microwave and RF systems. The researchers
note that although the performance of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs presently reaches RF
powers up to 40W/mm, at frequencies exceeding 300 GHz, its reliability, which
is often thermally limited, is a serious issue.
The project aims to mitigate this issue through developing novel substrates
that have higher heat extraction capabilities than SiC and developing low cost
substrates that have improved heat extraction compared to GaN-on-silicon for
more cost sensitive power electronics. The researchers assert that improvement
in heat spreading will imcrease reliability and circuit efficiency and ease Gan
Hitachi Cable Develops Technology for Mass Production of GaN Templates
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 29, 2013...Hitachi Cable has developed a new mass-production technology for
GaN-templates. The process grows high-quality GaN single-crystal thin film on a
sapphire substrate. The company plans to start selling these templates. The
company says that using the templates as a base substrate for an epitaxial
wafer for white LEDs allows drastic improvement in productivity of white LED
epiwafers and the LED properties
MOPVE can reportedly grow a white LED epiwafer consisting of a thin active
layer and a p-type GaN layer with a total thickness of about 1μm over an
n-type GaN layer with a thickness of about 10μm, grown on a sapphire
substrate. However, it takes a long time to grow a high-quality and thick
n-type GaN layer. White LED epiwafers can be grown only about once or twice a
day at the most.
Hitachi Cable GaN-template reportedly can solve this problem because the
n-type GaN layer is already grown on the template. Hitachi Cable says that this
can reduce the time required for growth by about half compared with
conventional methods. The GaN-templates are also said to be suitable for
high-output LEDs which require large currents because they allow both low
resistance and high crystal formation,
The firm has developed single-crystal free-standing GaN substrates used for
blue-violet lasers and developed HVPE-growth technology and machines for
mass-production of GaN substrates. Template sized 2”, 4” and
6” are available with 8” templates in development.
Market for GaN and SiC Power Semiconductors to Rise By Factor of 18 from 2012 to 2022, According to IMS Research
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 29, 2013...IMS Research predicts that the market for Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium
Nitride (GaN) power semiconductors will grow to 18 times its current size
during the next ten years fueled by demand from power supplies, photovoltaic
(PV) inverters and industrial motor drives. Worldwide revenue from sales of SiC
and GaN power semiconductors is projected to rise to $2.8 billion in 2022, up
from just $143 million in 2012, according to a new report from IMS Research,
now part of IHS. The company predicts double digit growth annually for the next
SiC Schottky diode are the best selling SiC or GaN devices currently with
revenue exceeded $100 million in 2012, IHS says. IHS predicts that SiC Schottky
diode revenue will grow until 2015, but will decline when lower-priced 600-V
GaN diodes become available. Then, revenue for SiC will recover to approach
$200 million by 2022, with sales concentrated at 1200V and above. GaN power
technology is just appearing on the market and can be grown on silicon
substrates for potentially lower costs compared to SiC.
“The key factor determining market growth will be how quickly
GaN-on-silicon (Si) devices can achieve price parity and equivalent performance
as silicon MOSFETs, insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) or
rectifiers,” said Richard Eden, senior market analyst for power
semiconductor discretes and modules at IHS. Eden says Price parity will be
achieved in 2019, with the GaN power market passing the $1 billion mark in
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