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Features


Monday 16th March 2009
Richard Stevenson visits Lumileds’ headquarters and talks to executives about the company’s strength in general illumination, automotive lighting and cell phone flash markets, and why silicon chip manufacturers are unlikely to diversify into LEDs.
Monday 9th March 2009
GaN-on-silicon LEDs do not have to suffer from high levels of strain that hamper output power. Armed with in situ tools for monitoring temperature and wafer bow, our UK-based team has produced flat, low dislocation density 150 mm epiwafers and processed them into devices with internal quantum efficiencies approaching 40%, say Andrew Phillips and Dandan Zhu.
Monday 2nd March 2009
A single, narrow detection range holds back the effectiveness of all forms of infrared detector. However, this can be addressed with Sofradir's mercury cadmium telluride dual-band design that incorporates a production-friendly semi-planar structure, says the company's Philippe Tribolet.
Monday 23rd February 2009
Solar power is still too expensive to compete in free market economies. However, improvements in inverter efficiency, which could be driven by an uptake of SiC JFETs with lower conduction and switching losses than incumbent silicon IGBTs, could change that, says SemiSouth's Jeff Casady.
Monday 16th February 2009
Armed with a reliable gate oxide, the SiC MOSFET is a great asset in power modules. The result is higher efficiencies and operating temperatures, which can cut solar inverter losses in half and increase the range of operation for military aircraft, explains Jim Richmond from Cree.
Monday 9th February 2009
Banishing V-defects and switching to non-polar growth could close the green gap and create efficient, high-quality white-light sources, say RPI's Christian Wetzel and Theeradetch Detchprohm.
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Tuesday 3rd February 2009
As 3S Photonics seeks to wrest 980 nm pump-laser market share from Bookham and JDSU, Andy Extance hears how all three will contest the leadership in the terrestrial and submarine optical communications component sector.
Tuesday 3rd February 2009
Riber has set its sights on nitride component production, new classes of solar cells and organic semiconductors. Michael Hatcher visited the Parisian equipment company to find out more about its new strategic focus.
Monday 26th January 2009
Indium oxide was thought to be a very wide-bandgap material with no carriers close to its surface. But recent results suggest otherwise and indicate that this material could generate terahertz radiation, says a team of UK researchers.
Monday 19th January 2009
GaN FETs grown on large silicon wafers should make a big impact in the multi-billion dollar power electronics market. They can operate at breakdown voltages of up to 800 V, offer superior switching efficiencies to silicon incumbents and give little away in cost, says IMEC's Marianne Germain.
Monday 12th January 2009
Researchers can choose between non-polar, semi-polar and polar substrates for nitride growth. But what are the benefits of one of these faces over another? Richard Stevenson reports.
Monday 5th January 2009
In early November, QPC Lasers filed for bankruptcy and became the first direct compound semiconductor casualty of the 2008 global financial crisis. Is this a sign of things to come, or an isolated incident, wonders Michael Hatcher.
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Monday 5th January 2009
Twenty-five years ago, two scientists at Aachen University in Germany joined forces with a local businessman to launch an equipment company. The result: the world's leading MOCVD tool supplier. Richard Stevenson talks to Aixtron co-founder Holger Juergensen about the early days.
Monday 22nd December 2008
Oscillators, mixers and RF switches add to the cost and complexity of 10 Gbit/s transmitters for last-mile networks. However, all of these components can be discarded by switching to a radical design that features a pulse generator and an amplifier, says a team of researchers at Fujitsu.
Monday 15th December 2008
RF Micro Devices' BiFET technology offers a cost-effective route to extending HBT capabilities. JFETs can be created through the growth of two extra layers, an additional mask and just one more etch, say Brian Moser, William Clausen, David Vines and Walt Wohlmuth from the company.
Monday 8th December 2008
It isn't just Wall Street that's down in the dumps - spending on semiconductor equipment has slumped over the past six months. Fortunately, compound semiconductor markets are bucking the trend, writes Aviza's Kevin Crofton.
Monday 1st December 2008
Andy Extance saw graphene emerge as a great new hope at ECSCRM 2008, while Japanese car makers help to fuel steady progress towards more-reliable SiC electronics.
Monday 24th November 2008
Droop stops GaN-based LEDs performing in the critical regime for emerging applications – high-current densities. However, this weakness can be overcome with polarization-matched epitaxial structures, say RPI's Martin Schubert, Min Ho Kim, Jong Kyu Kim and E Fred Schubert.
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Friday 21st November 2008
Developing SiC devices via tests on a range of prototypes is an expensive business. Simulations can slash the costs, but success demands carefully accounting for the material's anisotropy and very low intrinsic carrier concentrations, say Synopsys' Sudarshan Krishnamoorthy and Vidas Mickevicius.
Thursday 20th November 2008
Surface mount processes that populate printed circuit boards with passives can now add active die too, thanks to Avago's WaferCap technology. This ultimately opens up a path to low-cost amplification for cable TV, base stations and instrumentation, says the company's Jim Roland.
Monday 17th November 2008
At the intersection between the key logic, flat-panel display and LED industries, the former Epichem is proving to be a fantastic investment for Sigma-Aldrich. Andy Extance visited the unit's Bromborough, UK, factory to quiz Epichem founder Barry Leese on SAFC Hitech's progress.
Monday 10th November 2008
University of Tübingen
Monday 3rd November 2008
A host of powerful companies, among them flat-panel display makers, silicon foundries and consumer electronics giants, look set to enter the LED chip-making industry and have already invested in MOCVD systems. Could they break the long-held grip of the so-called "big six"? Michael Hatcher searches for answers with two leading industry analysts.

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