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If you're looking for LED or Solid State Lighting News...

You're darn right they're part of the compounds, but we're also proud to say that the LED segment has "graduated" and can benefit from publications that are more dedicated to those topics. For news on the broad LED industry, outside of general lighting, along with the materials and technology supply chain, visit LIGHTimes Online. For a higher level view of LEDs in general lighting, you can visit Solid State Lighting Design, which covers packaged "lighting quality" LEDs through subsystems, luminaires and application stories.


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 Manufacturing Roadmap.

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 Navigant.

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 participants.

The participants drew several conclusions:

  1. Achieving the targeted color point adds complexity and cost to the luminaire manufacturing process especially in applications demanding tight color control.
  2. 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 products.
  3. Luminaire manufacturing is now putting less emphasis on the lamp-fixture paradigm and placing more emphasis on integrated luminaires minimize cost and maximize efficiency.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 opportunities.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 disappointment.

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.

Researchers Successfully Grow 2-Inch Diameter Substrate With a Lower Lattice Mismatch than Sapphire
LIGHTimes News Staff

August 12, 2014...Researchers from Fukuda Crystal Laboratory have successfully produced a crystal substrate with less lattice mismatch than sapphire. Professor Takashi Matsuoka of the Fukuda Crystal Laboratory led the group of researchers who successfully produced the new 2-inch diameter substrate ScAlMgO4 (SCAM) material. The researchers developed the new material to be used with GaN used in LEDs and laser diodes. The researchers note that the material has significantly less lattice mismatch than sapphire.

According to the researchers, the lattice mismatch of the material with GaN is down to just 1.8 percent. The researchers used the Czochralski method to grow the crystals. An an additional benefit of the material is that it can be sliced and processed into substrate wafers without need of cutting or grinding. X-ray diffraction of the C-plane cleavage of the process was used to evaluate crystal material. The half width of the material is 12.9 seconds, therefore, the crystal quality is apparently comparable to the perfect crystal of Si.

Unlike sapphire, SCAM material is ready for the epi cleavage process without cutting or grinding from the ingot. Thus, it can reduce the cost of wafer processing. Other researchers at Tohoku University successfully grew a GaN-based LED structure on the SCAM substrate at a high temperature of 1040 ℃ using MOCVD technology.

The research group hopes to proceed larger diameter, 4-inch to 6-inch SCAM substrates. The Fukuda Institute of Technology also hopes to collaborate with the domestic manufacturers to start selling 2-inch diameter crystal wafers next spring.

Vishay Semiconductor Orders Aixtron System to Produce Wider Range of IR LED Products
LIGHTimes News Staff

August 5, 2014...Vishay Semiconductor GmbH, Heilbronn, Germany has acquired an MOCVD system from Aixtron to expand its production capacity for infrared LEDs. Vishay plans to substantially expand its range infrared LED products. Aixtron delivered the system to Vishay at the end of March.

“We opted for Aixtron’s planetary reactor, as it deposits high-quality layers and offers very high production stability, long operating times, and high throughput rates. Not only that, Aixtron will support us with process expertise, thus enabling us to rapidly and efficiently expand our gallium arsenide-based infrared LED production,” said Dr. Heinz Nather, senior vice president OPTO Division at Vishay Semiconductor.

Dr. Frank Schulte, vice president of Aixtron Europe said, “We have great expectations of our ongoing cooperation with Vishay.”

Vishay Semiconductor GmbH in Heilbronn, Germany forms part of Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. of Malvern, Pennsylvania, USA, which has about 22,000 employees and sales of almost US$ 2.5 billion.

Chinese LED Manufacturer Selects Veeco MOCVD Systems for Expansion into GaN LED Market
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 31, 2014...Veeco Instruments Inc. announced that Xiamen Changelight Co., Ltd.(Changelight) has chosen Veeco to be its main equipment provider as it begins to produce gallium nitride (GaN)-based blue/green high brightness LEDs for general lighting and displays. Changelight purchased multiple TurboDisc® MaxBright® M™ GaN Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) systems during the second quarter of 2014. Changelight also bought a TurboDisc K475™ MOCVD system to expand its manufacturing of red, orange, and yellow (ROY) LEDs.

“In the past we have used competitive MOCVD equipment for the majority of our production of ROY LEDs,” said Professor Wang Xiangwu, general manager of Changelight. “As we make this important move into the GaN-based lighting market, we decided to switch to Veeco’s MaxBright M MOCVD system, which we believe will offer the best throughput and cost of ownership to help enable our success and growth in the general illumination market.”

According to Veeco, the MaxBright M has a compact, modular design for improved serviceability, and compared to the standard MaxBright MOCVD system it has up to 15% increased footprint efficiency. The system reportedly has more layout configuration options, which allow it to fit various fab spacing requirements. Veeco says its sub-floor storage enables more wafer starts per square foot for a lower cost of ownership.

“Changelight’s decision to purchase Veeco’s MOCVD platform for its GaN LED production reflects our ability to develop innovative manufacturing solutions with the best performance,” said Jim Jenson, senior vice president and general manager of Veeco MOCVD. “We have seen Changelight dominate the ROY market in China for some time and believe that, with our technology and its knowledge of the industry, Changelight is well positioned to successfully expand into the backlighting and general illumination market.”

Veeco Introduces Website for Buying and Selling of Pre-Owned Equipment
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 11, 2014...In a significant change to Veeco Intrument's business model, the company of Plainview, New York USA has launched the Veeco MarketPlace website, www.veecomarketplace.com. The website is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) brokerage that helps buyers and sellers determine fair prices for pre-owned Veeco metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), Ion Beam Etch (IBE), and physical vapor deposition (PVD) systems. The site will also offer assets from Veeco Certified Partners, such as SurplusGLOBAL, Inc., a secondary equipment supplier. All equipment posted on the website is eligible for Veeco's exclusive pre-purchase assessments and logistical support.

The site allows potential buyers to see pre-owned equipment for sale and determine whether to purchase it as-is or with Veeco services. Veeco also plans to offer equipment checks, refurbish-and-repair programs, upgrades and logistical and relocation services. Veeco says that sellers who post their pre-owned equipment on the site can get advice and assistance from its sales team to advertise and promote the equipment to a specific target market.

“The Veeco MarketPlace brings great value to both the buyer and seller,” said Guy Shechter, vice president, Veeco Certified Equipment and Services Marketing. “With this new site, sellers gain access to their targeted customers through and with OEM support, and buyers can make quick, informed decisions on prices and purchases. Once the buyer and seller agree on the fair market value for the asset, Veeco can provide valuable services and upgrades to extend the life and improve the productivity of the system.”.

Industry insiders have speculated that in addition to changing the Veeco's business model, the new website could potentially lower the costs for companies wanting to fabricate LED chips.

University of Tokyo Researchers Fabricate Red, Blue, and Green InGaN LEDs on Glass Substrates with Sputtering
LIGHTimes News Staff

June 26, 2014...Researchers from the University of Tokyo have used a sputtering method transcribing GaN LEDs on glass substrates. The new fabrication technique may eventually help reduce manufacturing costs or help develop OLED light panels. The researchers have not yet measured external quantum efficiency or luminous efficiency for any single color. The team is currently testing the internal quantum efficiency at low temperatures.
 
The researchers note that InGaN LEDs are limited to applications in small devices because InGaN LED fabrication involves expensive metal organic vapor phase epitaxy on single-crystal wafers. However, the researchers successfully employed sputtering, a less expensive epitaxial growth process, on large-area substrates to fabricate large-area InGaN LED displays.
 
The use of multilayer graphene buffer layers allowed the growth of highly c-axis-oriented GaN films even on amorphous substrates. The team fabricated blue, red, and green InGaN LEDs. The researchers believe that their method of sputtering to produce full-color LEDs on amorphous substrates could be adapted to fabricate large-area inorganic LED displays on glass substrates. Already, sputtering is frequently used in the LCD industry.

The researchers point out that advances in the glass industry can offer roll-to-roll processing of flexible glass foils. Furthermore, the team contends that a combination of these methods may lead to the development of large-area flexible inorganic devices.

Tawain LED Makers Account for More than 25% of All MOCVD Systems in Operation
LIGHTimes News Staff

June 12, 2014...Of  the 1917 MOCVD systems in operation globally as of May 2014, Taiwan-based LED makers accounted for 28.6%. Japan-based LED makers accounted for 23.8%, China-based makers  22.9%, and South Korea-based makers 14.1%, according to Digitimes Research. The MOCVD systems used to produce sapphire wafers had a total monthly capacity of 888,290 4-inch wafers. Of the sapphire wafer capacity, Taiwan-based makers accounted for 44.5%, China-based makers 34.2% and South Korea-based makers 19%, Digitimes Research noted. Digitimes Research found that Sapphire ingot makers  have a total monthly production capacity of 7.39 million mm in 2014, with 770,600mm that can be sliced into 4-inch wafers.

Comprel to Distribute Plessey GaN-on-Si LEDs
LIGHTimes News Staff

June 4, 2014...Comprel Srl, an Italian electronics distributor, has agreed to  distribute Plessey Semiconductor's gallium nitride-on-silicon  (GaN-on-Si) LEDs. Plessey reported the new distribution agreement with  Comprel, which is headquartered in Nova, Milanese. Plessey says the agreement  will help the company expand its European distribution with coverage in the  Italian market for its GaN-on-Si LED products. Plessey’s MaGIC™  (Manufactured on GaN-on-Si I/C) High Brightness LED (HBLED) technology  is renowned for its ability to cut LED lighting costs using standard silicon manufacturing techniques.

 Michele Busnelli, Commercial Managing Director of Comprel, said,  “Comprel is very happy to be a partner of Plessey Semiconductors." Busnell added, "The GaN-on-Si  technology is going to be a revolution in the SSL market. I am sure that  with the innovative products of Plessey and our deep knowledge of the  market we are going to be very successful.”

 David Owen, Plessey’s Regional Sales Director, said, “Comprel has a  dedicated team working in the Italian lighting market place which will  accelerate the time to market for Plessey GaN-on-Si LEDs in this high  growth region.”

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