Conventional crystal growth methods don't work well for manufacturing GaN, but it is possible to produce small particles by electrolysis. With some minor changes this relatively fast process might be scaled to the manufacture of GaN substrates, says Sandia National Laboratories' Karen Waldrip.
An entrenched position in the MOCVD equipment sector and the continued surge in demand for tools from LED manufacturers made Aixtron's stock one of the hottest investments in a tumultuous year on the exchanges.
But can the industry's businesses save themselves as they compete with each other in a tight niche for limited sales to final consumers? Andy Extance was in Otsu, Japan, to document the aspirations and growing pains, as well as the latest research on show in this maturing field at ICSCRM 2007.
Micro-ring full-band tunable lasers can deliver fast and stable wavelength switching. This makes them the ideal candidate for next-generation networks employing optical packet-switching technology, say Shinji Matsuo and Toru Segawa from NTT Photonics Laboratories, Japan.
If you asked somebody at random to name a semiconductor company, the chances are most people would say: "Intel". Now, there aren't really any compound semiconductor companies that make for household names (yet), but if you had to pick the "Intel" of the GaAs world, there's a fair chance that you'd say: "RF Micro Devices".
Having exploited its number one position in power amplifiers to buy fellow GaAs high-flyer Sirenza, RFMD now has its money firmly on diversification. Andy Extance listens as the company calls the odds.
Emcore has been winning multimillion dollar contracts for its terrestrial solar cells, modules and systems. Photovoltaics vice-president David Danzilio tells Richard Stevenson about the reasons behind this success and the advances that the company is making in its products for space applications.
WIN has joined a select band of chip makers with its own BiFET technology. The H2W foundry process optimizes HBTs and PHEMTs independently, and it integrates power amplifiers, low-noise amplifiers, logic control and a power switch on a single chip, says Cheng-Kuo Lin.
Successfully shrinking a GaN HFET's dimensions can ramp up its operating frequency and open the door to applications such as 94 GHz radar, last-mile wireless communication and non-lethal weapons that disable opponents by heating their skin, says HRL's Brian Hughes and Michael J Keesling.
Synthetic CVD-grown polycrystalline diamond has fantastic heat-conducting properties. Inserting a thin layer underneath a GaN HEMT can halve this transistor's operating temperature and substantially increase its maximum output power, says a team of researchers at California's Group4 Labs.
With an Intel executive blogging about integrated III-V and CMOS functionality, and DARPA setting up a three-pronged attack on the same topic, it's time for compounds and silicon to get up close and personal. Michael Hatcher reports.
Inverted metamorphic designs can boost the efficiency of conventional triple-junction solar cells, cut their weight and offer compatibility with flexible substrates, say Paul Sharps and Arthur Cornfeld from cell producer Emcore and Mark Wanlass from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
A highly sensitive optical technique known as cavity ring-down spectroscopy can reveal minute levels of water contamination in MOCVD process gases such as arsine and can demonstrate the true benefit of point-of-use purification, say Jun Feng and Mark Raynor from Matheson Tri-Gas and Yu Chen from Tiger Optics.
Major fluctuations in the market shares of the leading handset vendors pose the immediate challenge for power amplifier suppliers, while increased 3G network build-out boosts RFIC sales and suggests that RF Micro Devices' acquisition of Sirenza could be a timely one. Michael Hatcher surveys the latest financial developments.