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25 July 2013

BluGlass awarded $3m Australian Government clean tech innovation grant

As part of its Clean Technology Innovation Program, the Australian Federal Government has awarded BluGlass Ltd of Silverwater, Australia $2,999,255 in funding for its project ‘Versatile prototype deposition machine for higher efficiency, energy saving, lower cost LEDs on various substrates including silicon’.

Spun off from the III-nitride department of Macquarie University of Sydney, Australia in 2005, BluGlass developed a low-temperature process using remote-plasma chemical vapor deposition (RPCVD) to grow materials including gallium nitride (GaN) and indium gallium nitride (InGaN) on glass substrates, potentially offering cost, throughput and efficiency advantages for the production of LEDs.

The support for the firm’s continued development of its RPCVD technology represents “an enormous commitment from the Commonwealth Government and demonstrates their continued belief in our ability to bring our breakthrough technology to market,” says CEO Giles Bourne.

The project aims to significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse-gas emissions generated in the production of LED devices. BluGlass claims that its unique low-temperature RPCVD technology offers performance and cost advantages to device makers. They estimate that, for each RPCVD tool put into production, there could be a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions of more than 39,000 tons of CO2 equivalent (based on 3.5 million LED lamps per annum).

The funding will allow BluGlass to expedite R&D into GaN-on-silicon substrates. The low cost and large diameter of silicon substrates is currently limited in LED material growth applications because the high temperatures of conventional metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth generally lead to bowing of the substrate, resulting in poor manufacturing yields. In contrast, RPCVD is a low-temperature process that is potentially better suited to the growth of GaN-on-silicon substrates, says BluGlass. It is anticipated that this will result in a revenue stream for the firm, as currently GaN-on-silicon is not competitive with the industry-standard substrate (sapphire) despite its commercial appeal as a low-cost solution for LEDs.

Tags: BluGlass RPCVD


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