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Plessey Takes Delivery Of Aixtron Reactor

The semiconductor manufacturer plans to reach full production of high brightness LEDs by the second quarter of next year.

UK-based Plessey Semiconductors has taken delivery of a CRIUS II-XL reactor in a 7x6-inch wafer configuration from Aixtron, Germany.

The delivery forms the first part of Plessey's multi-million pound investment to create a production line for its new high brightness LED (HBLED) products.

According to Plessey, the HBLEDs will be based on GaN on 6-inch silicon substrates, with manufacturing taking place at the company's Plymouth facility.

"We use a much thinner GaN layer at only 2.5µm compared to 6-8µm in other GaN on Si technologies," explains Neil Harper, Plessey's HBLED product line director. “This means less deposition time so that we can do multiple production cycles in the reactor in 24 hours to achieve higher throughputs and lower costs."

“We completed the acquisition of the University of Cambridge spin-off company CamGaN in February 2012 and are now installing the capability for the full commercial exploitation of GaN-on-Si technology, added Barry Dennington, Plessey's chief operating officer. “Furthermore, we will be in early prototype production before the end of Q3 2012 and in full production by Q2 2013."

Plessey claims to be one of the first companies to make working GaN on Si LEDs with the first samples producing the correct wavelength output from its six inch production line.

The company is using standard, readily available 6 inch silicon substrates which promise to offer 80% cost reductions compared to the current technologies using SiC or sapphire that are expensive and hard to scale up.

Plessey intends to move to 8-inch substrates in the future for even greater cost savings. Efficiencies in the new technology will enable outputs in excess of 150 lumens per watt to be achieved, which is significantly brighter than anything commercially available, says the company.

Typical HBLED yields come in at 95% providing over 14 000, 1mm², 1W MAGIC (MAnufactured on Gan ICs) HB LEDs per six inch wafer.

Dennington added, "MaGIC and EPIC are two unique, disruptive technologies that are instrumental in our plan to rapidly grow Plessey into a major electronics company producing smart lighting solutions."

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