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1 October 2019

CSC collaborates on commercializing Kubos’ cubic GaN technology for green and amber LEDs

The Compound Semiconductor Centre Ltd (CSC) – a joint venture founded in 2015 between Cardiff University and epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK – and Kubos Semiconductors Ltd of Cambridge, UK have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to pursue the commercialization of cubic gallium nitride (GaN) epitaxial technology for high-efficiency LED lighting applications. The agreement aims to accelerate the development of Kubos’ IP on metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactors at CSC’s St Mellons facility, via the collaboration of CSC, Kubos, IQE and Cambridge University staff.

Kubos is an early-stage start-up formed in 2017 to develop and commercialize its proprietary cubic GaN intellectual property (IP). The firm has an exclusive license to the technology, which was originally developed in partnership with the Department of Materials at the University of Cambridge and Anvil Semiconductors.

Kubos’ cubic GaN growth technology is reckoned to have the potential to circumvent some of the key limitations in conventional GaN-based LED devices. In particular, the removal of internal electric fields and a narrower bandgap mean that cubic GaN can deliver more efficient green and amber LEDs, overcoming the so-called ‘green gap’ problem. This can facilitate improved displays and also light bulbs that can be varied to mimic the natural changes in daylight through the day.

The CSC facility in St Mellons is co-located with significant volume manufacturing capacity of its JV owners IQE, so the infrastructure provides the advantage of seamless scale up from low-volume R&D and prototyping activities through to process transfer onto Aixtron MOCVD production tools, installed during a £10m capital investment completed at the site in 2017.

“This is a great example of our ability to accelerate new epitaxial technologies to market by supporting an ecosystem where academic researchers work in an industrially relevant environment,” says CSC’s director Dr Wyn Meredith. “It provides a very low-cost model for spinouts and new ventures to leverage the significant capital investment required to commercialize new epitaxial technologies. The cost and risk of commercialization is reduced with the added benefit of working with a wide range of relevant capability and partners in the emerging CSconnected compound semiconductor cluster in South Wales,” he adds.

“CSC is an ideal partner for Kubos as it supports our fabless business model and assists with the tight control of R&D costs,” comments Kubos’ CEO Caroline O’Brien. “As our technology matures it will also mean that we have an established relationship with a partner who can support the move to high-yield, high-volume processes that is required for a commercially viable LED technology.” Once mature, Kubos plans to license the technology to major LED makers.

Tags: CSC Power electronics

Visit: www.kubos-semi.com

Visit: http://compoundsemiconductorcentre.com

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