20 May 2011
GT Solar launches ASF100 advanced sapphire furnace
GT Solar International Inc of Merrimack, NH, USA (a provider of polysilicon production technology as well as sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the solar, LED and other specialty markets) has launched the ASF100 advanced sapphire furnace growth system. The ASF100 increases yielded output of sapphire material by producing a larger, 100kg sapphire boule in the same chamber as previous versions of the furnace (e.g. the 85kg ASF).
“We have received an enthusiastic response from early adopter customers for our ASF sapphire growth systems as they enter the market to provide high-quality sapphire material for the fast-growing LED industry,” says Cheryl Diuguid, VP & general manager of GT Solar’s sapphire equipment and materials group. “Our advanced sapphire crystallization systems are built on a highly scalable and reliable architecture that lets customers quickly ramp to volume production with a lower capital investment compared with other competing crystallization technologies,” she claims.
Picture: GT Solar’s ASF100 advanced sapphire furnace.
With more than 40 years of proven sapphire production and crystalline growth process technology, the ASF100 provides a highly automated, low-risk operating environment, capable of producing consistently uniform sapphire boules that yield high-quality material suited to high-brightness (HB) LED applications, the firm claims.
“With competing crystallization technologies, customers entering the sapphire crystallization market are forced to choose between systems that provided quality or systems that offer high throughput,” continues Diuguid. “Our ASF100 offers high quality and high volume, so customers get both in one system.”
Since the commercial introduction of the ASF system in fall 2010, GT has booked more than $450m in orders from new entrants and existing sapphire producers. The ASF100 offers a proven path to producing high-quality, large-area sapphire substrates for markets that demand the highest-grade material, the firm adds.