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In brief: UV-LEDs, Binoptics and wafer-dicing

Seoul Optodevice Co. and Sensor Electronic Technology develop brighter, more reliable ultraviolet LEDs, photonic component manufacturer Binoptics hires a new executive in charge of business development, and a Hokkaido University spin-out develops a new laser dicing system to improve LED yield from sapphire wafers.

Brighter UV-LEDs
The latest AlGaN-based ultraviolet LEDs made by Seoul Semiconductor are twice as bright and twice as reliable as the previous generation, claims the Korean company.

At a drive current of 20 mA, the latest components have a maximum optical output power of 1.5 mW at 280 nm.

Just three months ago, volume device maker Seoul and AlGaN epitaxy specialist Sensor Electronic Technology (SET), US, signed an equity-based partnership to develop and sell UV-LEDs.

The devices have a number of potentially very-high-volume applications, chiefly surface decontamination and water purification, where they could replace mercury discharge lamps (see related story).

SET s president Remis Gaska will be presenting the latest developments and application markets for ultraviolet LEDs at the Key Conference next month (see related link).

JDSU's Kwong joins Binoptics
Ithaca, NY, laser chip developer Binoptics has appointed Norman Kwong as its new executive VP of business development.

Kwong previously worked at JDSU, where he was director of advanced technology, and has also enjoyed stints at Ortel (now owned by Emcore) and Archcom Technology.

Binoptics' lasers are made using a proprietary etched-facet process - the kind of innovation which Kwong believes will be important for meeting customer expectations for low-cost, high-reliability, high-performance lasers.

Hokkaido University spin-out company Laser Systems is reported to have developed a sapphire-dicing machine capable of making much narrower cuts in LED wafers than can be achieved using conventional lasers or diamond cutting systems.

The Japanese company specializes in femtosecond-pulsed lasers. These pulses are so short that the material being cut does not heat up during the dicing process.

According to the Nikkei.net online business newspaper in Japan, this results in a cutting width of just 5 µm, and increases the number of LED chips that can be yielded from a 2-inch wafer by up to 20 per cent compared with a diamond tool.

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