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HexaTech & Tokuyama UV-C LEDs raise the bar

The companies have demonstrated dramatic improvements in power and efficiency for UV-C LEDs. These aluminium nitride based LEDs are suited for use in water and surface disinfection
The rapidly accelerating interest in LEDs for disinfection applications operating at UV-C wavelengths requires a solution with high output power, high efficiency and long lifetimes.

HexaTech, along with Tokuyama Corporation of Tokyo, have demonstrated exceptional output power and dramatic internal quantum efficiency (IQE) improvements. These results raise the bar to what is possible with the technology, and enable commercially available high performance, high reliability UV-C LEDs.

The devices were used by coupling HexaTech’s low dislocation density bulk AlN substrates with Tokuyama’s hydride vapour phase epitaxy (HVPE) and device fabrication. Tokuyama was able to produce UV-C LEDs with over 25mW of output power at 265nm, and IQEs greater than 70 percent.

“This collaboration demonstrates that when combining HexaTech’s market-leading bulk substrate quality, with Tokuyama’s high quality HVPE and excellent device fabrication, breakthrough, record-setting results are possible”, notes Joe Grzyb, HexaTech CEO. “It further highlights our commitment to working with our customers to bring the best in AlN technology to market.”

“Working together with HexaTech and their substrates, Tokuyama has made great improvements in the performance of our UV-C LEDs, accelerating the process for their commercial availability," states Toru Kinoshita, Chief Research Engineer at Tokuyama Corporation.

Since their inception, UV-C LEDs have held the promise of a compact, highly efficient, long-life light source for sterilisation and purification applications.

However, most commercially available products currently struggle with limited output power, efficiency and device lifetimes. A key requirement for improving these limitations is to drive the device defect density down, for which IQE is a key measure and is critically related to the underlying bulk material quality.

“As HexaTech’s own device development has shown, using our high quality, low dislocation material, we are able to produce UV-C LEDs with record-setting reliability and lifetimes, exceeding more than 600 hours of accelerated testing, with virtually no degradation”, comments Baxter Moody, HexaTech Director of Device Development.

HexaTech is a manufacturer of single crystal AlN substrates. This substrate material will enable long life UV-C LEDs for disinfection applications, deep UV lasers for biological threat detection. It also enables high voltage power semiconductors for smart grid and efficient power conversion.

The company’s current product lines include single crystal and polycrystalline AlN substrates. Long life UV-C LEDs and high voltage power devices based on AlN substrates are also in development.

Founded in 2001 by a team of industry experts in III-nitride semiconductors, HexaTech has successfully solved complex material science and engineering challenges to commercialise high quality bulk AlN for volume production.

Tokuyama group is producing and selling mainly chemical products but is also in the electronics materials market. The firm was founded in 1918 and has 5600 employees.

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