InfiniLED to advance MicroLED technology with Tyndall`s facilities
InfiniLED, a portfolio company of ScienceWorks Ventures plc and a Tyndall National Institute (UCC) spin-out, has signed an access agreement with Tyndall National Institute, Cork (Tyndall). This agreement allows InfiniLED’s engineers to work within the institute’s ISO 9001 Certified Compound Semiconductor cleanrooms to fabricate μLED (MicroLED) technology. In MicroLEDs, a parabolic structure is etched on the back of the LED wafer to focus the light generated into a collimated beam - the core differentiator of the μLED technology. These structures are effectively micro optics integrated directly at the LED wafer level. There are a number of benefits of the MicroLED over conventional LEDs. The MicroLED is a planar LED structure based on a sapphire wafer – one of the simplest, lowest and most common LED wafer technologies used in conventional LEDs. Also, a MicroLED pixel can vary from in size from approximately 10 to 25µm and the emitting surface is minimised to the region near the focal point of the parabolic structure resulting in the collimated light. What's more, the light is projected perpendicular to the sapphire and does not get trapped and even better, the MicroLED concept can be applied to all LED materials (blue, green, red, NIR, UV). “The access agreement is an exciting step forward for InfiniLED. The skills, infrastructure, ISO certification and capabilities at the Tyndall National Institute are unique with Ireland and the UK. This is reflected in the quality of the research emerging from the institute. For InfiniLED to be able to access these capabilities will enable us to deliver products to customers in an efficient and timely manner" points out Joe O’Keeffe, CEO of InfiniLED. "It will also allow InfiniLED to build on our technology base and to further enhance the performance. The availability of wafer growth, chip fabrication and advanced photonic packaging & test facilities at the Tyndall National Institute allows InfiniLED to develop devices from raw materials to full systems without incurring the cost of acquiring such equipment and facilities itself. It means that InfiniLED can provide a range of solutions to customers based on μLED technology in a form that is most suited to their requirements,” adds O'Keefe. “This access agreement further strengthens the two way relationship between Tyndall National Institute and InfiniLED. It demonstrates Tyndall’s flexibility in working with irish indigenous spin out companies and assisting them in their growth trajectory. Tyndall will continue to work with Infiniled’s technology and team to incorporate the μLED into future Tyndall client companies system solutions while InfiniLED brings their own extensive market and customer knowledge in their identified target growth areas ..This is another example of the important of the Government’s investment in ICT (Photonics) convergence into new markets at Tyndall and its impact on Ireland’s current and future economic success.. ” says Kieran Flynn, Head of Business Development at the Tyndall National Institute. “The μLED technology brings huge technological advances to customers by controlling the light directly at the point where it is created. As well as our core devices, InfiniLED also delivers unique solutions for customer needs. This engagement with Tyndall allows InfiniLED to develop solutions that are tailored at the chip level and to include all the required optical and control supports. This enables InfiniLED to deliver plug-and-play solutions to customers across a range of markets including diagnostic devices, LED printing, microscopy and others.” emphasises Bill Henry, Chief Commercial Officer of InfiniLED. Post-investment, ScienceWorks remains InfiniLED’s largest shareholder along with senior management. InfiniLED develops a range of LED light source modules based on its patented μLED technology, which it has licensed from Tyndall. InfiniLED has a number of on-going development contracts with international customers. It is aiming to bring the first μLED- based products to the market before the end of 2012. The areas of application for InfiniLED technology range from diagnostic testing devices to consumer products. The microLED technology was invented by a team of researchers led by Brian Corbett at Tyndall National Institute, supported and funded by Enterprise Ireland. Under the Enterprise Ireland Business Partner Programme, entrepreneur Joe O’Keeffe, who has already spun out a series of successful companies, evaluated the commercial potential of the μLED. InfiniLED was launched in April 2011 and was co-founded by Bill Henry, Chief Commercial Officer of InfiniLED. He had worked on the development of the technology and the commercial opportunities while at Tyndall. The securing of this investment marks the next step in moving this world-class Irish research from the lab into the market place. It will allow InfiniLED to build its team, to ramp-up development of the technology and to target new opportunities.