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17 May 2016

IQE transfers Translucent's cREO growth capability to North Carolina facility

At the International Conference on Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (CS MANTECH 2016) in Miami, FL, USA (16-18 May), epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK has announced two key developments.

Transfer of cREO growth technology to North Carolina facility

IQE has successfully transferred the cREO (rare earth oxide) molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) deposition equipment and associated process of Translucent Inc of Palo Alto, CA, USA to its facility in Greensboro, North Carolina. Translucent (a subsidiary of Australian-listed company Silex Systems Ltd) provides cREO engineered silicon substrates for low-cost epitaxy.

Following the exclusive license of cREO technology from Translucent last September and the initial license fee payment of $1.4m (in IQE shares) this March, IQE has transferred two of Translucent's reactors to Greensboro. The first (production) system has been installed and is now producing cREO templates on silicon. The template structural and morphological characteristics are said to be an excellent match to results previously achieved by Translucent. The second (R&D) system is due to be online in about a month.

The production tool will produce standard templates for the IQE group and select commercial partners, with an initial focus on III-N materials for RF (wireless) communications and power electronics applications.

Demonstration of interface charge tuning using cREO for GaN products

Using cREO templates, IQE has demonstrated that it can tune the interfacial characteristics for gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si).

For RF applications, GaN-on-Si typically exhibits an undesirable p-type channel at the GaN/Si interface (a parasitic channel) that detrimentally affects RF efficiency. Using its patented technology, IQE has demonstrated that the parasitic channel can be completely eliminated. In addition, the firm has shown that growth conditions can be tuned to generate and rationally engineer an n-type layer between the GaN and silicon. This enables applications that require buried conductors for III-N on Si applications.

"We have demonstrated that we are able to rationally manipulate the cREO characteristics to tune the conductivity of the III-N/Si interface," says Dr Rodney Pelzel, vice president, IQE Group Technology. "This is a significant enabler for GaN HEMT [high-electron-mobility transistor] technology on silicon for RF applications. In addition, it is an enabler for other III-N technology on Si such as RF filter technology," he adds.

"IQE is committed to fully exploiting cREO technology for GaN as well as other III-V and group IV materials.  This technology offers exciting opportunities for fully realizing III-V growth on Si, thereby eliminating the cost-prohibitive issue with native substrates such as InP," Pelzel continues. "Furthermore, it enables hetero-integration at the epi level, allowing previously incompatible materials systems to be successfully combined. cREO is an excellent complement to IQE's well-established wireless, photonics, power, and CMOS products and will enable novel solutions for our customers."

Under the terms of the license and assignment agreement signed last September, IQE has 30 months in which to decide to acquire Translucent's technology with the payment of a further $5m. Upon commercialization of the technology, a perpetual royalty of 3-6% of IQE's revenues generated from the technology would be payable to Translucent.

See related items:

IQE inks exclusive licence and option agreement to acquire Translucent's cREO technology

Tags: IQE Translucent GaN-on-Si templates MBE

Visit: www.translucentinc.com

Visit: www.iqep.com

Visit: www.csmantech.org

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