30 November 2010
Soitec and SEI to co-develop engineered GaN substrates
Soitec of Bernin, France, which manufactures silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers and other engineered substrates, and Japan’s Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd (SEI), a provider of compound semiconductor materials, say that they are working together to develop engineered gallium nitride (GaN) substrates.
The alliance will draw on Sumitomo Electric’s GaN wafer manufacturing technology and Soitec’s unique Smart Cut layer transfer technology by which ultra-thin GaN layers are transferred from a single GaN wafer to produce multiple, engineered GaN substrates retaining the original, high crystalline quality of Sumitomo Electric’s GaN wafer but at a lower cost. The technology is therefore expected to facilitate widespread use of GaN substrates in applications such as high-brightness LEDs as well as electric power devices designed for hybrid and full electric vehicles.
“Our collaboration with Soitec will open the door to high-quality, lower-cost GaN substrates,” believes Masamichi Yokogawa, Sumitomo Electric’s executive officer and general manager of its Compound Semiconductor Material division. “We have demonstrated that the transfer of a thin layer of our high-quality GaN crystal to a carrier wafer is the right approach to make our GaN material accessible for various applications such as power devices and white LEDs,” he adds. “We are expecting the collaboration with Soitec will enable wider use of our high-quality GaN wafer... device manufacturers focused on low unit area costs will find value in the greater functionality of these engineered substrates,” Yokogawa believes.
“We are partnering with the leader in GaN wafer manufacturing to offer engineered substrates that have the best crystal quality available today,” claims Soitec’s CEO Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve. “This collaboration represents the first step of an important move in our strategy to address the need for dramatically improved efficiency in power conversion and lighting with innovative materials engineering solutions.”