Nitride Solutions raises $1.8 million to produce cost-efficient aluminum nitride substrates for LEDs, lasers

June 30, 2011
Nitride Solutions has secured $1.8 million in financing commitments from Nebraska Angels (Lincoln, NE) and Aurora UV (Santa Barbara, CA).

Wichita, KS--Nitride Solutions has secured $1.8 million in financing commitments from Nebraska Angels (Lincoln, NE) and Aurora UV (Santa Barbara, CA); the company develops aluminum nitride (AlN)-based substrates for LEDs, lasers, and power electronics (AlN can be used in thermoelectric coolers for optical devices). The resulting UV LED light emitters may find broad use in applications such as water sterilization and others.

To date, Nitride has raised $1.8M in a Series A preferred round. Nebraska and Aurora have joined lead investor Midwest Venture Alliance (Wichita, KS), in addition to Mid-America Angels (Lenexa, KS) and Manhattan Holdings (Manhattan, KS) in the round.

Nitride is developing a high-volume, low-cost manufacturing technology to fabricate AlN substrates with projected defect rates ten times lower than substrates currently on the market. Aluminum nitride is a semiconductor with a bandgap well into the UV, so the creation of these substrates should enable the creation of new UV laser diodes and LEDs. In addition, the substrates can be used to create higher-quality LEDs and lasers at existing wavelengthssuch as quantum-cascade lasers fabricated on Aln substrates.

Manufacturing to begin this year

Nitride will use the funding to perfect the technology, and says it will begin manufacturing and sales in late 2011. "The number of biomedical and industrial applications of LED technology is rapidly growing," said Karen Linder, co-deal lead for Nebraska Angels. "Nitride Solutions' novel method of creating substrates on which these crystals can be grown will change the market. The technology is revolutionary, and the leadership team has the commercial experience and the scientific skills that will make the company successful."

"We expect to benefit with both high financial rewards and the satisfaction that we will have been part of the effort of applying hard science to alleviating some of the world's most vexing problems, including cheap access to pure water," said Muriel Taylor, president and CEO of Aurora UV in Santa Barbara.

Nitride is still seeking a small group of financial and strategic investors to finalize the round, which will stay open until September.

Founded in 2009, Nitride Solutions maintains strong ties to Kansas State University in Manhattan, with key employees and advisors hailing from the university. President and CEO Jeremy Jones was named Kansas PIPELINE 2010 Innovator of the Year for his work at Nitride.

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About the Author

John Wallace | Senior Technical Editor (1998-2022)

John Wallace was with Laser Focus World for nearly 25 years, retiring in late June 2022. He obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University and a master's in optical engineering at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an editor, John worked as an engineer at RCA, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and GCA Corporation.

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