8 April 2020
Porous GaN firm Porotech completes £1.5m seed round
Gallium nitride (GaN) material technology developer Poro Technologies (Porotech, a recent spin-off from the UK’s University of Cambridge) has closed a £1.5m seed round investment to develop a pilot plant in Cambridge and its first major products. The seed round was co-led by the University of Cambridge’s commercialization arm Cambridge Enterprise and IQ Capital Partners, joined by Martlet Capital and a syndicate of angel investors from Cambridge Angels and Cambridge Capital Group.
Porotech says that its unique production process allows the controlled creation of a new class of porous GaN semiconductor materials and structures that provide enhanced functionality. Porous GaN could be regarded as a semiconductor composite of solid GaN and air. It enables Porotech to engineer a wide range of material properties (optical, mechanical, thermal and electrical) and consequently offers an entirely new material platform for semiconductor devices to be built upon.
Porotech’s porous GaN wafers, material technologies and device solutions can also deliver multi-functional wafers with the material properties and functionalities targeted to the specific final device application for the cost-effective manufacture of LEDs, lasers, power electronics, quantum light sources, sensors and solar cells.
With its process and product IP portfolio, scale-up and instrumentation solutions, and interdisciplinary expertise in semiconductor materials and devices and materials chemistry, Porotech’s licensing business model (involving proving by making) is to commercialize its unique material platform technology and device solutions in conjunction with its partners and foundry network.
Picture: Porotech’s co-founders CEO Dr Tongtong Zhu, CSO professor Rachel Oliver and CTO Dr Yingjun Liu.
“Gallium nitride is a material poised to have impact across electronics and optoelectronics — from efficient power transistors to quantum devices — and the introduction of porous architectures can extend its capability in all these realms,” reckons professor Rachel Oliver, chief scientific officer & co-founder of Porotech and director of the Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride at the University of Cambridge.
“Gallium nitride is the semiconductor material of the future. It is on the rise to revolutionise and transform the electronics industry,” believes CEO & co-founder Dr Tongtong Zhu. “Porotech is at the forefront of this particular revolution, where we have developed the first production technique that allows the integration of porous GaN in tailored forms to significantly increase performance of real-world electronic and optoelectronic devices and applications,” he adds.
Porotech was the winner of Cambridge Enterprise’s Postdoc Business Plan Competition 2018 and won the golden award of the 5th China ‘Internet Plus’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition in October 2019.