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18 November 2013

Ammono granted ESA funding to develop large-size semi-insulating GaN substrates

Ammono S.A. of Warsaw, Poland, which produces bulk gallium nitride (GaN) using ammonothermal technology, has been granted a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) with the aim of developing large-size semi-insulating gallium nitride (GaN) substrates dedicated for space applications.

GaN is a key material for boosting the performance of space-related electronics, says Ammono. One of its main advantages is a strong robustness against ionizing radiation effects, which can degrade the performance of electronics in space and reduce their operating life-time. In addition, the higher power density and higher efficiency offered by GaN allows miniaturization of electronic payloads, leading to reduced mass and volume of electronics systems launched in space. Last but not least, compared with the existing generation of space electronics based on gallium arsenide (GaAs), GaN makes it possible to operate devices at higher frequencies and higher power (essential for long-distance space communications), notes Ammono.

The main electronics application areas are in transistors for RF communication and DC-DC power conversion applications. However, a promising new application is also in the area of GaN-based solar cells, since they allow the possibility of generating more energy per square centimeter than offered by existing solutions, says the firm.

For space applications the material quality is of key importance. AMMONO-GaN substrates, which the firm claims have the best quality available on the open market, have extremely low dislocation density. This characteristic can potentially improve the reliability of devices, which is important for space application, says the company. AMMONO-GaN therefore fits with the high-performance requirements of space applications, and is the first step towards the design of a novel generation of space electronics, reckons Ammono.

Tags: Ammono GaN substrates

Visit: www.ammono.com

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