News Article

SiC Systems & Smart Lighting ERC Funded To Develop LEDs On 6" SiC

With the $200,000 award, it is hoped the partnership can explore new approaches to driving GaN to higher levels of efficiency. The aim is to broaden the range of operating wavelengths from those obtainable on current LEDs grown on sapphire.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $200,000 grant to SiC Systems to partner with the Smart Lighting ERC in order to develop LEDs with increased efficiency.

SiC Systems' unique ability to produce large area, 6" Silicon Carbide (SiC) substrates in different crystallographic orientations will be combined with the Smart Lighting ERC's capability to develop advanced LEDs with higher performance than those routinely available today on sapphire substrates.

While high power blue GaN LEDs are widely used now for solid state lighting applications, there are still significant barriers in developing efficient GaN LEDs at other wavelengths that will be needed to achieve high performance lighting systems with high color fidelity.

By combining advanced Silicon Carbide structures from SiC Systems with innovative LED growth and fabrication technology under development at RPI in Professor Wetzel's group, this team will explore new approaches to driving GaN to higher levels of efficiency at a broader range of operating wavelengths than can be obtained today with conventional LED growth on sapphire substrates.

Additionally, this collaboration will train and engage graduate and undergraduate researchers in an area of great technological importance, both at SiC Systems and at the ERC. SiC Systems anticipates up to 25 new jobs will be created with the increased demand from this technological breakthrough.

The awardees would like to acknowledge the SBIR/STTR and ERC programs for providing the funding.

SiC Systems was established in July 2007 and is based in Golden, Colorado. Its proprietary technology was developed by Joshua Robbins and Mike Seman. The methods used facilitate production of silicon carbide in a size, quantity and quality more suitable for use by mainstream semiconductor manufacturers.

Continued adoption of silicon carbide in the 21st century will aid in the reduction of energy consumption worldwide and also provide higher power and density semiconductor systems thus making energy use more efficient.

The Smart Lighting ERC focuses on solid-state lighting systems with adaptive functionality capable of delivering the right light where and when is needed. The center engages in research and education, and works closely with industry to facilitate commercialization.

Founded in 2008 by the National Science Foundation, it is led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with Boston University and The University of New Mexico as core partners. Howard University, Morgan State University, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology are outreach and education partners.
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