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Technical Insights


Friday 27th October 2006
A US consortium is aiming to smash the solar-cell efficiency record with a radical design that uses a lateral architecture and a dispersive concentrator. If they are successful, soldiers will be freed from a 20 lb load of spare batteries. Richard Stevenson reports.
Friday 27th October 2006
Monday 25th September 2006
Still making the bulk of its revenue from sales of LED chips for cell-phone applications, Cree's finances are taking a hit as the company looks to move into a new growth phase.
Monday 25th September 2006
With the electronic materials division formerly belonging to Emcore now under its wing, IQE is the world's biggest independent supplier of III-V epiwafers to the compound semiconductor industry. Michael Hatcher asks Drew Nelson, the CEO at IQE, about the company's latest move.
Monday 25th September 2006
Poor current handling and thermal management are suppressing the performance of LEDs for solid-state lighting applications. These problems can be avoided, however, by switching to a low-cost vertical design and a metal alloy substrate, says Trung Doan from SemiLEDs Corporation.
Monday 25th September 2006
Forget about men in white coats. Soon police officers could be using LEDs to analyze and identify DNA evidence at the crime scene, discovers Jon Cartwright.
Monday 25th September 2006
Skyworks believes that its hybrid design for BiFETs, which includes a quicker and lower-cost processing route, outweighs the greater versatility of a monolithic design. Richard Stevenson investigates.
Monday 25th September 2006
The lack of forward voltage stability in SiC bipolar devices is hampering their deployment in electrical power transformers. However, this problem can be overcome with an etching and regrowth process, say Joe Sumakeris, Brett Hull and Dave Grider from US chip manufacturer Cree.
Monday 25th September 2006
GaN HEMT manufacturers and ultraviolet LED developers are using large crack-free AlN-based templates thanks to a new deposition process, say TDI's Vladimir Dmitriev and Alexander Usikov.
Tuesday 22nd August 2006
An equity deal and exclusive supply relationship between UV-LED innovator Sensor Electronic Technology and Korea's leading LED packager will spark a host of new applications by reducing the cost of the devices, writes Michael Hatcher.
Tuesday 22nd August 2006
Despite distinctly Star Trek undertones, photonic power conversion is a very real technology. More than 10,000 systems are already deployed and a number of promising new applications are in the pipeline, hears Michael Hatcher.
Tuesday 22nd August 2006
Start-up company MOXtronics has recently produced the first colored ZnO-based LEDs. Although the efficiency of these LEDs is not high, improvements are rapid and the emitters have the potential to outperform their GaN rivals, say Henry White and Yungryel Ryu from MOXtronics.
Tuesday 22nd August 2006
Aixtron claims that its latest GaN reactor can produce a higher LED chip yield through increased wafer capacity, improved temperature uniformity and greater ease of use. Richard Stevenson investigates.
Tuesday 22nd August 2006
Robert Metzger explains why growing III-N material on a different crystal plane to form a non-polar structure should boost the output power of LEDs and improve the doping control in HEMTs.
Tuesday 22nd August 2006
Practical, commercial silicon lasers are at least a decade away from reality, but other silicon optics could still impact the III-V optoelectronics industry, according to Yvonne Carts-Powell.
Tuesday 22nd August 2006
Quintessence Photonics has written gratings into its infrared laser diodes that narrow the emission spectra and reduce temperature sensitivity. This will lead to cheaper diode-pumped laser systems, and make the devices more attractive for medical imaging and Raman spectroscopy, says Paul Rudy.
Monday 24th July 2006
With some major developments at Cree, RF Micro Devices and Nitronex, there's no doubting where the push to commercialize GaN-based RF devices is coming from.
Monday 24th July 2006
Photonic integration was one of the hot new ideas that emerged during the telecoms boom, but it was subsequently shelved by cash-strapped component vendors. Now, as Roy Rubenstein reports, the technology could be set to make a big revival.
Monday 24th July 2006
GaN HFET reliability can be improved by adding field plates to the structures. This is believed to reduce carrier trapping at the surface, but simulations by Ric Borges, Nelson Braga, Bo Wu and Vidas Mickevicius of Synopsys show that it also decreases the electron temperature and bulk trapping throughout the device.
Monday 24th July 2006
Researchers are turning to alternative capping layers and GaN and non-polar sapphire substrates to push the output power of LEDs to levels suitable for everyday lighting. Richard Stevenson reports.
Monday 24th July 2006
Fujitsu's GaN program has led to proven device reliability, a fabrication process using low-cost conducting 3 inch SiC substrates, and record output power from MIS-HEMTs, says Toshihide Kikkawa.
Tuesday 27th June 2006
Based in Woburn, MA, Skyworks Solutions plans a dramatic increase in its share of the power-amplifier market and is targeting both high-end and ultra-low-cost applications. Michael Hatcher asks Kevin Barber how the company will be able to meet the manufacturing demands.
Tuesday 27th June 2006
The value of nearly all publicly-owned compound semiconductor companies across the globe has raced upwards over the past year. But, asks Michael Hatcher, which stock outperformed the rest with a seven-fold increase in just 12 months?
Tuesday 27th June 2006
Want to start up a new company, but worried about taking on financing from venture capitalists? Felix Ejeckam from GaN-on-diamond specialist Group4 Labs offers some words of advice.

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