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Crystal IS announces first 4-inch AlN substrate


Achievement shows AlN is commercially viable for new industries beyond UVC LEDs

Crystal IS, an Asahi Kasei company, has announced the successful production of a 4-inch (100 mm) diameter single-crystal aluminum nitride (AlN) substrate.

This is the first reported AlN substrate at this size and demonstrates the scalability of Crystal IS processes for growing AlN bulk single-crystals to meet production demands, according to the company.

AlN substrates have low defect densities, high UV transparency, and low concentrations of impurities. AlN is attractive for a variety of industries, such as UVC LEDs and power devices, due to its ultra-wide bandgap and very high thermal conductivity. The 4-inch substrate produced shows a usable area of over 80 percent based on current requirements for UVC LEDs.

“We are extremely excited to announce the achievement of a 4-inch bulk AlN substrate,” said Naohiro Kuze, executive fellow, Research Laboratory of Advanced Science and Technology, Asahi Kasei. “This accomplishment signifies that AlN is commercially viable for new industries beyond just UVC LEDs.”

Founded in 1997 to develop native AlN substrates, Crystal IS manufactures UVC LEDs on its commercial process for 2-inch diameter substrates. These LEDs are ideal for producing the germicidal wavelengths from 260 nm – 270 nm. The current capacity of the facility can meet the volume requirements for consumer devices using UVC LEDs based on the existing 2-inch production line.

“This indicates the scalability of our processes to deliver quality devices on AlN,” said Eoin Connolly, president and CEO of Crystal IS. “We are proud of the team’s accomplishment and its impact on the semiconductor industry as a whole.”

Crystal IS currently produces thousands of 2-inch substrates annually to support the production of its Klaran and Optan product lines. The commercialisation of 4-inch AlN substrates will quadruple the device output of the existing footprint of the Green Island facility. It will also enable the development of new applications on AlN substrates as it integrates into existing fabrication lines for power and RF devices using alternative materials.

Crystal IS will present the progress on 4-inch substrates at this month’s 23rd American Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy in Tucson, Arizona.

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