In Brief: BridgeLux, Emcore, Aixtron, Lumileds
BridgeLux in the money
High-performance LED chip designer BridgeLux has raised $23 million in its latest venture funding round, which was led by new investor Chrysalix Energy.
The cash injection will go partly towards expanding the Californian company's product line, but will also be used to intensify its research and development work.
Now headed up by CEO Mark Swoboda, BridgeLux has targeted high-end LED applications such as camera flash and display backlighting.
Greg Sullivan, the managing director at Chrysalix, is set to join the BridgeLux board of directors.
More solar records
Emcore is the latest company to claim a record-breaking conversion efficiency for multi-junction solar cells, following hot on the heels of Spectrolab and the University of Delaware.
Emcore s Albuquerque-based photovoltaics unit says that its regular triple-junction cells - currently in mass production for terrestrial use - have a conversion efficiency of 39 percent under a concentrated illumination of 1000 suns.
Spectrolab has posted a slightly higher efficiency of 40.7 percent in its laboratory with pre-production cells, while researchers from the University of Delaware just last week announced that they had reached 42.8 percent conversion using a combination of silicon and compound semiconductor technology.
Emcore is currently increasing its solar cell production capacity to meet burgeoning demand for alternative energy sources, while relative newcomers such as Spain s Isofoton, Germany s Concentrix Solar, and Taiwan s WIN Semiconductors are all looking to exploit multi-junction technology.
China boost for Aixtron
Epitaxy tool vendor Aixtron has installed a Thomas Swan system at the LED research and development center belonging to the South China Normal University.
The university s top MOCVD specialist, Fan Guang-Han, says that he is looking forward to using the 3x2-inch close-coupled showerhead reactor, which is the first of Aixtron s "FT" equipment range to be installed in mainland China.
The new design features all-digital mass flow and pressure control, and the Chinese team will use it to develop advanced GaN-based light emitters.
Lumileds develops ceramic phosphor
A ceramic phosphor developed by Philips Lumileds could help to open up the emerging market for high-brightness LEDs in automotive headlamps.
According to the San Jose firm, using the ceramic phosphor gives tighter control over the correlated color temperature of white LEDs.
This simplifies the complex binning schemes that are currently used to sort white LEDs according to their operating characteristics, and should make it easier and cheaper to produce high-end white LEDs in large volumes.
Lumileds says that it is already incorporating the ceramic phosphor, which it calls "Lumiramic", into automotive headlamp products, where the white color of the beams must comply with very strict requirements.
The technology was also used in Lumileds laboratory development of a 115 lm/W LED, and will feature in Luxeon products from early 2008.