IQE taps Australian tech for wide bandgap wafers

November 30, 2016 // By Nick Flaherty
UK wafer supplier IQE is working with Australian technology company Bluglass on new ways to produce LEDs, power devices and solar cells more cost effectively.

BluGlass is developing and commercialising a breakthrough semiconductor technology called remote plasma chemical vapour deposition (RPCVD), for the production of these devices that benefit from wide bandgap materials such as gallium nitride. RPCVD has several potential advantages over current manufacturing techniques promising higher performing devices and a cleaner, lower temperature and lower cost method of manufacture.

​The two companies will work together for the next 15 months on specific enabling technology for high quality nitride films deposited by RPCVD on both silicon wafers and on IQE’s specially engineered substrates called cREO on silicon.  

“BluGlass’ world leading RPCVD technology is highly complementary to IQE’s existing technology portfolio, and the collaboration is a key step in overcoming challenges inherent to epi-growth of cutting edge materials,” said Dr. Rodney Pelzel, group vice president at IQE in Cardiff, Wales. “This arrangement marks another key milestone for IQE as it continues to provide market leading solutions to its customers.  This arrangement comes on the heels of our announcement earlier this year of successful transfer of cREO epi capability to IQE’s North Carolina manufacturing site. This collaborative arrangement is a key step in furthering this technology.”

Crystalline Rare Earth Oxide (cREO) was developed by Translucent Inc, a US subsidiary of Australian technology firm Silex Systems, and IQE licensed the technology last year along with an option to subsequently acquire the technology.

It adds layer of rare earth oxide as a buffer layer to allow for the manufacture of a wide range of devices using GaAs, InP and GaN on silicon, for example for the power switching and RF markets. This allows the devise to be produced on more cost effective wafers up to 300mm diameter and opening up the possibility of integrating the devices with existing CMOS processing capabilities for true next-generation system-on-chip devices.  

The technology is protected by a wide ranging IP portfolio consisting of 74 granted patents, and 13 additional patent applications. 

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