BluGlass wins $2.7M clean grant for GaN RPCVD process

Aug. 2, 2013
Silverwater, NSW, Australia--BluGlass Limited was awarded nearly $2.7 million dollars in Australian government funding for its versatile and energy saving Remote Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition (RPCVD) technology.

Silverwater, NSW, Australia--BluGlass Limited was awarded nearly $2.7 million US dollars in Australian government funding for its versatile Remote Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition (RPCVD) technology. The technology is used to fabricate higher efficiency, energy saving, lower-cost gallium nitride (GaN) LEDs on various substrates including silicon. The project is part of the Australian federal government's Clean Technology Innovation Program.

The bulk of commercial LEDs are today made using metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD)--a highly complex process that is used to deposit very thin layers of atoms onto a substrate to produce important compound semiconductor materials such as gallium nitride (GaN), an important material used in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), lasers, transistors, and optoelectronic devices. Whereas MOCVD uses ammonia (NH3) as the source of nitrogen, RPCVD uses nitrogen gas (N2) passed through an electrical coil that generates a plasma. The nitrogen plasma generation is not dependent on high temperature to provide a source of reactive nitrogen atoms, allowing the grow​th of GaN to be carried out at much lower temperatures than those used in MOCVD while maintaining the critical crystalline quality necessary for high-performance devices. Nitrogen is safer to handle and does not require scrubbing compared to highly toxic ammonia used in MOCVD.

BluGlass CEO Giles Bourne said, "We are delighted to have been awarded this funding support for the continued advancement of our RPCVD technology. This represents an enormous commitment from the Commonwealth Government and demonstrates their continued belief in our ability to bring our breakthrough technology to market."

The project aims to significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated in the production of these energy saving LED devices. BluGlass’ unique low temperature RPCVD technology offers significant performance and cost advantages to device manufacturers; it is estimated that for each RPCVD tool put into production there could be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 39,000 tons of carbon dioxide per RPCVD unit (based on 3.5 million LED lamps per annum).

This funding will allow BluGlass to expedite research and development into GaN on silicon substrates. Silicon is a low-cost, large diameter substrate that is currently limited in its application for LED semiconductor material growth. This is because the high temperatures of MOCVD growth generally lead to bowing of the substrate, which leads to poor manufacturing yields. RPCVD is a low-temperature process that is potentially better suited for the growth of GaN on silicon substrates. It is anticipated that this will result in a revenue stream for the company as presently GaN on silicon is not competitive with the industry standard substrate, sapphire despite its huge commercial appeal as a low-cost solution for LEDs.

SOURCE: BluGlass;

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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