Substrates & Materials Award


Cambridge Nanotherm manufacturers a unique substrate for semiconductor packaging that offers a radical new alternative to expensive and difficult to work with ceramics for devices such as High Brightness LEDs (HB LEDs IGBT etc. Nanotherm gives semiconductor manufacturers the opportunity to use a cost effective and robust Aluminium based substrate with properties that compare to ceramics such as Aluminium Nitride (AIN but at a fraction of the price.

The material itself is a composite of ceramic and aluminium. Using a patented process the surface of the Aluminium is converted to a nanoceramic layer that provides excellent dielectric properties. Nanotherm DM (Direct metallisation uses thin-film techniques to atomically bond a copper track to the nanoceramic surface which brings the composite thermal conductivity close to that of the aluminium core alone while retaining excellent breakdown voltages.

By using this thin-film technique Nanotherm DM offers amazingly low thermal resistance at 0.02K/W cm2 – up to now unheard of for an Aluminium substrate and close to AIN – but without the price tag.

Not only does Nanotherm DM offer comparable thermal and dialectic properties to AIN as it is primarily Aluminium it is far more robust and can be manufactured in much larger sizes. This in turn brings the scale and cost advantages of the PCB industry to bear on packaging compound semiconductors.

Semiconductor manufacturers have been limited to using expensive and difficult to work with packaging technologies such as AIN to achieve the thermal performance required to keep semiconductors cool.

Add to this the difficulty of working with ceramics – they are extremely brittle and can only be manufactured in relatively small sizes – and the need for an alternative option is clear.

Nanotherm DM addresses all these problems it has comparable thermal and dielectric properties yet is robust and flexible and can be manufactured in bigger sizes and using industry standard process bringing cost and supply benefits.

Nanotherm is the only cost effective product on the market that offers comparable thermal properties to far more expensive AIN and other exotic materials. By combining the robustness mass availability and low price of Aluminium with the dielectric properties of ceramic manufacturers can have the best of both worlds – a cost effective alternative to ceramics that can be dropped into the existing manufacturing process.

The process of converting the surface of Aluminium to an effective and reliable ceramic dielectric is completely unique and covered by numerous patents. Whilst alternative methods of coating exist such as anodising they do not provide a reliable enough surface to act as a perfect dielectric. By operating on the nano-scale Cambridge Nanotherm has achieved a perfectly uniform dense nanoceramic structure without the voids and fissures found using other approaches. This has been a ‘holy grail’ of thermal management.

There is considerable development happening in the field of deep ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UVC LED) technology. This technology can be an efficient, cost effective, and more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional UVC emitter technologies, such as mercury, deuterium and xenon flash lamps. In addition, UVC LEDs are wavelength specific and provide high optical output, long lifetime, low power consumption and low maintenance costs.

UVC LEDs, as semiconductor light sources, have been in the market for several years. However, adoption has been slowed by the low output power and reliability of early commercial UVC LEDs. Emerging AlxGa1-xN and AlN-based UVC LEDs are showing progress in power output and device lifetime for instrumentation and disinfection applications. The increase in performance has been driven by the relatively recent development at Crystal IS of high quality, single-crystal AlN substrates which allow the growth of pseudomorphic AlxGa1-xN device layers with very low defect densities. These low defect densities coupled with Crystal IS’s adaptation of visible LED manufacturing techniques has resulted in improved power and reliability of the resulting device. The UVC LEDs that Crystal IS have developed based on this process have enabled instrument manufacturers to offer more cost effective instruments without sacrificing product performance. As this technology continues to develop, these substrates will open the door for germicidal applications using UVC LEDs.

Deep ultraviolet (UVC) LEDs can be an efficient, cost effective, and more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional UV lamps, such as mercury, deuterium and xenon flash lamps. In addition, UVC LEDs are monochromatic and provide high optical output, long lifetime, low power consumption and low maintenance costs. UVC LEDs have been in the market for several years, however adoption has been slowed by the low output power and reliability of these early devices. Devices based on native AlN substrates can provide the high performance and reliability to address emerging applications in life sciences and analytical instrumentation.

The development of III-nitride semiconductors can address a variety of applications—from analytical instrumentation to UV disinfection. Many companies are looking to achieve this with sapphire substrates, which meet many requirements for the III-nitride semiconductors. However they have large lattice and thermal expansion mismatch, which results in a high defect density and lowers the performance of the resulting UVC LEDs. While the number of defects in hetero-epitaxial layers can be reduced substantially through remarkable epitaxial growth techniques, a dramatic improvement can be obtained by growing high quality layers of high aluminum content III-nitride semiconductors (AlxGa1-xN) pseudomorphically on AlN substrates. Crystal IS has pursued this latter approach to create high performance UVC LEDs.

Crystal IS’ advances in AlN technology and LED fabrication have led to the release of the first commercial UVC LEDs based on native AlN substrates. These LEDs, Optan, provide instrument manufacturers with UVC LEDs that offer industry-leading light output, superior lifetime and reliability, and excellent spectral quality. These characteristics have allowed Crystal IS to unlock the potential for UVC LEDs in instrumentation applications and address emerging trends for the market. This increased performance will also translate to adoption of UVC LEDs in a variety future germicidal applications. Progress in AlN substrates will allow emerging applications to take advantage of the core benefits of LEDs in the deep UV wavelengths. By decreasing the defects in the substrate, a more reliable and powerful device can be achieved. As performance continues to increase, the applications addressable by these devices will continue to grow.

As devices become smaller size and require higher reliability in the presence of extreme power densities, new solutions are needed. Nowhere is this more evident than with the transition to wide-bandgap Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors, where engineers have struggled with the thermal barriers limiting the ability to achieving the intrinsic performance potential of GaN semiconductor devices.

Element Six, a pioneer in synthetic diamond supermaterials, has developed, over 10 years, Gallium Nitride (GaN)-on-Diamond semiconductor wafer technology—the first-of-its-kind to be developed and commercially available. In the approach, the GaN epitaxy is transferred to diamond by first removing the host Si and transition layers beneath the AlGaN/GaN epitaxy, depositing a 35 nm dielectric onto the exposed AlGaN/GaN, and finally growing a 100 micron thick CVD diamond onto the dielectric adhered to the epitaxial AlGaN/GaN. The resulting 100 mm GaN-on-Diamond composite wafer offers a cost-effective and efficient thermal management solution for GaN radio frequency (RF) semiconductor devices, enabling the intrinsic power performance capability of GaN devices. 

Currently, Silicon Carbide (SiC) is the most commonly used semiconductor substrate for RF GaN devices. However, the diamond in GaN-on-diamond wafers has a thermal conductivity of 1600 W/mK, which is four times that of SiC. Rigorous test results by Raytheon Company revealed it achieved a three times improvement in GaN-on-Diamond’s RF areal power density, compared to GaN-on-SiC devices. The GaN-on-Diamond devices also demonstrated more than 40 percent reduction in thermal resistance. Additional beta customers include Air Force Research Lab (ARFL) and Triquint Semiconductor, which was a recipient of the 2013 CS Industry Award for its GaN-on-Diamond achievements through DARPA’s NJTT program.

GaN-on-Diamond substrates enable a significant reduction in the ambient to device-junction temperature rise for packaged devices. With GaN-on-Diamond substrates, device manufacturers can produce semiconductors higher power density and/or with longer lifespans due to the reduction in temperature rise and system manufacturers can lower the costs of cooling subsystems.

Consumer, industrial, and military demands are constantly pushing for electronic devices that are smaller and more powerful with increased life times. However, as device size shrinks, there is less area for heat to dissipate. As a result, heat is the cause of more than half of all electronic failures. Transistor engineers have struggled for years to surpass the thermal barriers that stand in the way of achieving the intrinsic performance potential of GaN semiconductor devices. Element Six’s chemical vapor disposition (CVD) diamond thermal management solution holds the potential to enable the next generation of high power RF and high voltage devices.  GaN-on-Diamond substrates bring diamond within less than a micron of the gate-junctions where all the heat is generated, and does so with a minimal thermal barrier resistance between the GaN epi and diamond. This enables more than a three times increase in areal power density, compared to GaN on SiC, to enable more power in a military radar system, for instance. GaN-on-Diamond’s ability to operate at ambient temperatures more than 40 percent higher than GaN/SiC devices results in costs savings from smaller cooling subsystems and less energy use.

Critical to Element Six’s GaN-on-Diamond technology is the diamond synthesis that leverages its proprietary microwave CVD process. The diamond synthesis recipe must optimize the diamond’s thermal conductivity while not damaging the GaN epi. In addition, the interface layer between diamond and GaN buffer must minimize thermal barrier resistance while handling CTE mismatches and preventing leakage.  And finally, wafer bow and thickness variation must be minimized. Through its microwave CVD synthesis, Element Six is able to tightly control growth conditions to meet all of these challenges. In addition, the development team, over the space of 10 years, had to carefully engineer all of the process steps, and particularly the interface layer between diamond and GaN buffer, to obtain the highest power density and lowest thermal resistance possible.


Device Design and Packaging Award

Cree has shattered the on-resistance barrier of traditional 1200V MOSFET technology by introducing the industry’s first commercially available silicon carbide (SiC 1200V MOSFET with an RDS(ON of 25mΩ in an industry standard TO-247-3 package. The new MOSFET designated the C2M0025120D is expected to be widely adopted in PV inverters high voltage DC/DC converters induction heating systems EV charging systems and medical CT applications.

Based on Cree’s proven C2M SiC MOSFET technology the new device has a pulsed current rating (IDS Pulse of 250A and a positive temperature coefficient providing engineers with greater design flexibility to explore new design concepts. The high IDS Pulse rating makes the device suitable for pulsed power applications and the positive temperature coefficient allows the devices to be paralleled to achieve even higher power levels.

The higher switching frequency of the new C2M0025120D SiC MOSFET enables power electronics design engineers to reduce the size weight cost and complexity of power systems. For medical applications such as CT systems Cree’s C2M MOSFETs provide a 5X reduction in switching losses and enable much higher power density. Combined with the lower switching losses the added benefit of low RDS(ON greatly improves the thermal characteristics and can potentially even eliminate system fans resulting in quieter and more cost effective medical imaging systems.

Cree has also demonstrated that by implementing the C2M0025120D in a PV string-inverter it is possible to develop a highly efficient and compact 50kW grid-tied solar inverter with a power to weight ratio of 1kW/kg. This results in a string inverter that is significantly more efficient and half the weight and size of the state-of-the-art commercial 50kW systems available today. Additionally for rooftop PV inverters the smaller size and lighter weight greatly reduce the installation costs.

Crees C2M0025120D provides greater design flexibility in PV inverters high voltage DC/DC converters induction heating systems EV charging systems and medical CT applications enables the reductions of the size weight cost and complexity of these power systems and due to the combination of lower switching losses and a low 25mΩ RDS(ON greatly improves the thermal characteristics and can potentially even eliminate system fans resulting in quieter and more cost effective systems.

Crees C2M0025120D SiC MOSFET has an IDS Pulse of 250A and a positive temperature coefficient which allows the devices to be paralleled to achieve even higher power levels. The higher switching frequency (and up to 5x lower switching losses of the device enables power electronics engineers to reduce the size weight cost and complexity of power systems. Combined with the lower switching losses the added benefit of the low 25mΩ RDS (ON greatly improves the thermal characteristics and can potentially even eliminate system fans resulting in quieter and more cost effective systems.

Cree shattered the on-resistance barrier of traditional 1200V MOSFET technology by introducing the industry’s first commercially available silicon carbide (SiC 1200V MOSFET with an RDS(ON of 25mΩ in an industry standard TO-247-3 package.

First GaN half-bridge transistor

The most common building block used in power conversion is the half bridge. It is the starting point for the journey towards a power system-on-a-chip. The EPC2100 is the first commercially available enhancement-mode monolithic half bridge GaN transistor. It integrates two eGaN power FETs into a single device so the interconnect inductances and the interstitial space needed on the PCB are eliminated. This increases both efficiency (especially at higher frequencies) and power density, while reducing assembly costs to the end user’s power conversion system.

 Beyond just performance and cost improvement, the greatest opportunity for GaN technology to impact the power conversion market comes from its intrinsic ability to integrate multiple devices on the same substrate. In the future, GaN technology, as opposed to common silicon IC technology, will allow designers to implement monolithic power systems on a single chip in a more straightforward and cost-effective way.

The MAGX-001214-650L00 is a gold-metalized pre-matched GaN on Silicon Carbide transistor that offers the highest peak power in the industry for a single-ended power transistor optimized for pulsed L-Band radar applications. The MAGX-001214-650L00 guarantees 650 W of peak power with a typical 19.5 dB of gain and 60% efficiency. The device boasts very high breakdown voltages which allow customers reliable and stable operation at 50 V under more extreme load mismatch conditions.

The device is assembled in a high performance ceramic flange package and has undergone MACOM’s rigorous qualification and reliability testing, which offers customer’s state of the art power with rugged performance ideally suited to today’s demanding radar applications. Operating between the 1200 MHz – 1400 MHz Frequency range, the MAGX-001214-650L00 is a highly robust transistor with a mean time to failure (MTTF) of 5.3*106 hours.

In next generation radar systems designers are being tasked with providing greater functionality, higher power and squeezing more performance into smaller mobile platforms such as Unmanned Armed Vehicles (UAVs). Greater functionality will require next generation radar systems to perform multiple tasks such as detection, jamming and even communications.

The increased bandwidth of GaN solutions will be critical for new systems to achieve multi-role functionality. The higher power, with greater efficiency in a smaller size will be key factors in meeting the needs of next generation radar systems. The device is an ideal candidate for customers looking to combine two power transistors and realize over 1,000 W of peak power in a single pallet for next generation L-Band radar systems that require increased performance in smaller footprints.

MACOM’s 650 W Peak Power GaN on SiC Transistor MAGX-001214-650L00 is the industry’s highest power GaN L-band radar transistor providing high gain, efficiency & ruggedness over 1.2-1.4 GHz.


Metrology, Test and Measurement Award

In 2013 Bruker Corp. introduced the LumiMap electroluminescence system for optical and electrical characterization on epitaxial (epi) growth wafers for high-brightness (HB) LEDs.

LumiMap is a value-oriented alternative to conventional, multistep, operator-dependent indium dot methods of epi (made by epitaxial growth) wafer characterization. The system features rapid, non-destructive, no post measurement chemical cleaning, software-controlled measurement locations, and repeatable optical and electrical measurement capabilities through forming a temporary LED (light-emitting diode) device on an epi wafer.

The results obtained by LumiMap are well correlated with those on the final HB-LED (high brightness LED) device, providing an early warning of process shifts, which in turn reduces the risk of expensive scrap events and improves yields. Simple wafer exchange and intuitive software provides the industry's easiest to use interface for production quality control, as well as epi process development. The long measurement lifetime of the proprietary conducting probe meets the strictest industry cost of ownership requirements.

With growing performance requirements in compound semiconductor based power devices, leading device manufacturers are looking for improved ways to characterize yield-limiting defects that will help them achieve faster development and ramp times, higher product yields and lower device costs.

Full-surface, high sensitivity defect inspection and accurate process feedback has enabled the industry to improve SiC substrate quality as well as optimize the epitaxial growth yields on both SiC epi and GaN-on-silicon processes.

As device makers continue to push the boundaries of process designs, the requirements for defect inspection and overall yield management become increasingly more stringent and critical. The Candela CS920 offers the latest inspection technology for power device manufacturing. By integrating, for the first time, surface defect detection and Photoluminescence technology into a unified platform, the Candela CS920 enables high sensitivity inspection and defect classification at production throughputs for a wide range of critical defects (e.g. microscratches, stacking faults, basal plane dislocations) and effectively separates front-surface defects and buried defects on transparent substrates and epitaxial material. In addition, the CS920’s automated defect classification capabilities reduce the time required to identify, source and correct various yield-limiting defects such as carrots, triangles, sub-micron pits and others.

With expanding applications (hybrid/electric vehicles, inverters, wind power, high-speed trains, etc.), Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) “wide bandgap” power device manufacturers require advanced inspection technologies that help cost-effectively ramp production. With advantages over traditional silicon-based power devices for high-voltage applications, and improving wafer defectivity and cost, SiC epi technologies are becoming the driving growth material in the power device segment. A key challenge for inspection of SiC substrate/SiC epi is that they are typically transparent to visible light. The Candela CS920’s design solves this challenge by leveraging SiC absorption in the ultra-violet regime – providing excellent sensitivity to micro-scratches/micro-pits, and enabling photoluminescence contrast on otherwise invisible epi layer defects.

The Candela CS920 technology provides a comprehensive solution – integrating simultaneous industry-proven Candela OSA (Optical Surface Analyzer) technology (reflectometry, optical profilometry, scatterometry and phase-shift interferometry) with a newly-developed Photoluminescence measurement channel. Using the multiple channels the Candela CS920 captures not only the yield-impacting surface defects and buried defects, but also the yield-impacting crystal defects which are invisible using visible light illumination.

KLA-Tencor is the only company to integrate the micro defect detection for surface and buried defects and photoluminescence defects on one unified inspection platform.

Pyro 400 Gen2 is a unique optical metrology system for in-situ measurement of the GaN-wafer temperature during LED-structure growth in MOCVD. Pyro 400 Gen2 uses 400nm pyrometry to measure the temperature of the GaN buffer. It can be integrated into the control loop for the growth temperature of the MOCVD system and allows precise control of the wafer temperature during the critical growth steps of an LED structure: The growth of the multi quantum wells. Pyro 400 Gen2 uses a robust state-of-the-art PLC based measurement scheme and is designed for 24/7 use in LED production.

In addition to earlier LayTec Pyro 400 generations it offers as a unique feature: real-time emissivity correction to compensate for emissivity changes that occur during the growth of different materials. Pyro 400 Gen2 is controlled and operated by LayTec's EpiNet software. It is also fully integrated into LayTec's fabwide visualization software that allows easy stop-or-go decisions for operators based on traffic lights. Part of the Pyro 400 Gen2 package is the unique calibration tool AbsoluT 400 that allows for an easy but very precise calibration of the Pyro 400 Gen2. Therefore not only wafer-to-wafer and run-to-run variations can be detected and controlled, but also the very important tool-to-tool variations. Pyro 400 Gen2 can be applied to a wide range of MOCVD systems.

Pyro 400 Gen2 solves the challenge of measuring and controlling wafer surface temperatures during the growth of GaN LED-structures on sapphire, even when AlGaN layers or superlattices for better carrier confinement or electron blocking are introduced. Such layers produce changes in the emissivity of the growing layers, directly affecting the measured surface temperature. Earlier versions of 400nm pyrometers were unable to account for emissivity changes and have failed to correctly measure the surface temperature on these structures. Pyro 400 Gen2 also solves the challenge of tool-matching, because the pyrometer can be easily calibrated with LayTec's patented AbsoluT 400 calibration device.

Pyro 400 Gen2 is the first and only 400nm pyrometer on the market to perform emissivity correction pyrometry. Besides the thermal emission from the wafer, the reflectance is also measured, allowing for real-time emissivity measurement. An established technique for IR-pyrometers, emissivity correction has never been implemented in the blue/near-UV spectral range before. The main challenge has been providing a reflectance measurement spectroscopically fitting the black body emission. The emission from the same light source integrated in a regulated device (AbsoluT 400) emulates the emission of a black body at a given temperature and allows for a precise calibration.

Pyro 400 Gen2 is the only product on the market providing the important emissivity correction. It is also the only 400nm pyrometer that has a dedicated and easy-to-use calibration tool. Moreover, due to its integration in the EpiNet software, it is the only 400nm pyrometer that allows real-time control and advanced process control within a fab-wide framework, including traffic light "in-spec/out-of-spec" visualization for operators. Based on pre-defined and growth-run-associated analysis recipes, EpiNet allows to automatically analyze the Pyro 400 Gen2 data. Results can be compared with pre-defined specifications and control limits. In consequence the status of each wafer and run and tool can be displayed on a fab-wide overview screen as: green or yellow or red. In addition, the coating of the viewport by process material, a critical effect that changes the window transparency, can be measured and corrected by Pyro 400 Gen2.


R&D Chip Development Award

Accomplishments in Terahertz Electronics program could pave way for new areas of research and unforeseen applications in the sub-millimetre wave spectrum.

Last year officials from Guinness World Records recognized DARPA’s Terahertz Electronics program for creating the fastest solid-state amplifier integrated circuit ever measured.

The ten-stage common-source amplifier operates at a speed of one terahertz (1012 GHz), or one trillion cycles per second—150 billion cycles faster than the existing world record of 850 gigahertz set in 2012.

Terahertz circuits promise to open up new areas of research and unforeseen applications in the sub-millimetre-wave spectrum, in addition to bringing unprecedented performance to circuits operating at more conventional frequencies. This breakthrough could lead to revolutionary technologies such as high-resolution security imaging systems, improved collision-avoidance radar, and communications networks with many times the capacity of current systems and spectrometers that could detect potentially dangerous chemicals and explosives with much greater sensitivity.

Developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation, the Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit (TMIC) exhibits power gains several orders of magnitude beyond the current state of the art. Gain, which is measured logarithmically in decibels, similar to how earthquake intensity is measured on the Richter scale, describes the ability of an amplifier to increase the power of a signal from the input to the output. The Northrop Grumman TMIC showed a measured gain of nine decibels at 1.0 terahertz and 10 decibels at 1.03 terahertz. By contrast, current smartphone technology operates at one to two gigahertz and wireless networks at 5.7 gigahertz.

Gains of six decibels or more start to move this research from the laboratory bench to practical applications—nine decibels of gain is unheard of at terahertz frequencies. This could open up new possibilities for building terahertz radio circuits.”

For years, researchers have been looking to exploit the tremendously high-frequency band beginning above 300 gigahertz where the wavelengths are less than one millimetre. The terahertz level has proven to be somewhat elusive though due to a lack of effective means to generate, detect, process and radiate the necessary high-frequency signals.

Current electronics using solid-state technologies have largely been unable to access the sub-millimetre band of the electromagnetic spectrum due to insufficient transistor performance. To address the “terahertz gap,” engineers have traditionally used frequency conversion—converting alternating current at one frequency to alternating current at another frequency—to multiply circuit operating frequencies up from millimetre-wave frequencies. This approach, however, restricts the output power of electrical devices and adversely affects signal-to-noise ratio. Frequency conversion also increases device size, weight and power supply requirements.

DARPA has made a series of strategic investments in terahertz electronics through its HiFIVE, SWIFT and TFAST programs. Each program built on the successes of the previous one, providing the foundational research necessary for frequencies to reach the terahertz threshold.

Last year SemiLEDs Corporation announced sampling and volume availability of the first in its new Enhanced FlipChip, or EF, LED series. The series launches with the EF-B40, a blue 40-mil flip chip that the company says simplifies packaging and integration by eliminating wire-bonding.

SemiLeds claim that the series offers improved lumen-density while enabling packagers to use standard surface mount assembly techniques.

SemiLEDs flip chip approach combines a sapphire front surface and proprietary back side architecture that provides the electrical contacts exclusively on the bottom of the chip, making it fully compatible with chip-on-board (COB) surface mount processes. Eliminating wire-bonds also lowers the profile of the chips, and allows them to be placed more closely together, which results in higher lumen-density and reduces the complexity of the optics. The EF series is designed for COB assemblies, or for any approach that calls for either secondary optic design or high-density mounting.

Flip chip construction presents what was originally the bottom sapphire layer in a horizontal LED structure as the top surface of the chip. By flipping the chip, the electrical pads become part of the bottom of the device rather than running bonding wires from the top surface of the chip down to the package or board. The delicate areas of the chip are therefore protected by the clear sapphire layer and by eliminating wire bonds, both reliability and overall design flexibility of the packaged device are increased. In addition, individual chips may be more closely mounted. The nearly continuous light emitting surface, unbroken by gaps, bonding wires, or top electrodes, can simplify the mounting and mixing requirements of the optics, producing smooth lighting effects. In addition, in a flip chip structure, the heat-generating junction is positioned adjacent to the substrate, increasing thermal conductivity and allowing improved device performance at high currents.

The EF-B40 is available in wavelengths from 445 to 460nm, with outputs of up to 300 lumens at 1A as a packaged emitter. The SAC compatible chips are offered with standard Au bonding pads, or are available with an AuSn option to further reduce thermal resistance and add to system reliability. A 140-degree viewing angle makes the EF ideal for general and commercial lighting, while the lowered profile addresses the application needs of LED backlight, smartphone flash or LED projector.

Enhanced flip chip method can maximise lumen density and simplifiy integration.

At the end of 2014 a new world record for the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity was established. The multi-junction solar cell converts 46% of the solar light into electrical energy and was developed by Soitec and CEA-Leti, France, together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany.

Multi-junction cells are used in concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems to produce low-cost electricity in photovoltaic power plants, in regions with a large amount of direct solar radiation. It is the cooperation’s second world record within one year, after the one previously announced in September 2013, and clearly demonstrates the strong competitiveness of the European photovoltaic research and industry.

Multi-junction solar cells are based on a selection of III-V compound semiconductor materials. The world record cell is a four-junction cell, and each of its sub-cells converts precisely one quarter of the incoming photons in the wavelength range between 300 and 1750 nm into electricity.  When applied in concentrator PV, a very small cell is used with a Fresnel lens, which concentrates the sunlight onto the cell.

The new record efficiency was measured at a concentration of 508 suns and has been confirmed by the Japanese AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology), one of the leading centres for independent verification of solar cell performance results under standard testing conditions.

A special challenge that had to be met by this cell is the exact distribution of the photons among the four sub-cells. It has been achieved by precise tuning of the composition and thicknesses of each layer inside the cell structure. 


Innovation Award

Osram Opto Semiconductors has launched the first LED with oval light-radiating characteristics for large-screen video walls or digital road signs: the new surface-mountable Displix Oval.

Thanks to a compact housing measuring just 2.1 x 2.7 x 1.5 mm, almost twice as many LEDs can now be mounted on a board than with ordinary radial diodes, doubling both the pixel density and the resolution of displays. As a result, the images displayed are extremely vivid with a high color homogeneity.

An additional advantage of the high density is the fact that a lower pixel brightness is now required so that the individual LEDs take a lower current. In combination with the durable housing materials, this lower output extends the lifetime of the diodes.

The Displix Oval has a black QFN (Quad Flat No Leads) housing, which additionally boosts the image quality. It reduces reflections and increases the contrast and colour quality of the images displayed – across the entire display: “Being surface mounted, SMT LEDs like the Displix Oval have very low tilt tolerances per diode. A display fitted with the new LEDs hence has a stable and very homogenous color appearance when viewed from virtually any angle,” explained Sven Weber, responsible for the product marketing of the Displix Oval at Osram Opto Semiconductors.

Both the processes and the processing of the Displix Oval are much simpler than with radial LEDs, greatly reducing customers’ further processing costs. Being very flat, the Displix Oval requires less silicone for the potting of the boards to protect the contacts from rain and moisture. This enables customers to reduce the amount of material used, which again has a considerable impact on their outlays. The Displix Oval will be available from October 2014 in the colors yellow, red, green and blue.

Displix Oval from Osram Opto Semiconductors sets new standards in LEDs for outdoor displays

Early last year Soraa announced the world’s most efficient LED, which it will integrate into the market’s first full-visible-spectrum, large form factor lamps.

Soraa’s third generation (Gen3) GaN on GaN LED achieves world-record setting wall-plug-efficiency, outperforming the nearest competitor by 20% at normal operating conditions.

In just one year, Soraa has achieved a remarkable 30% increase in white lumen per watt (lm/W) efficiency over its prior generation LED, setting a pace of technology evolution unrivalled in the LED industry. Soraa’s Gen3 LED will be available in the second quarter of this year in a variety of product offerings: modules, large form factor PAR and AR lamps, and MR16 lamps.

Soraa’s full-visible-spectrum PAR30L lamp, powered by its Gen3 LED, has the potential to lead the market not only in light output, but also in colour and whiteness rendering; at CRI-95 and R9-95 it will achieve centre-beam intensity (CBCP) of 28,250cd at 8° beam angle, 10% higher than the CRI-85 offering of the nearest competitor.

Soraa’s large form factor lamps will feature all the signature elements of light quality that its customers are accustomed to: natural and accurate rendering of colours and whiteness, perfectly uniform beams of exceptionally high intensity, and clear single shadows.

Veecos TurboDisc EPIK700 metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD Gallium Nitride (GaN System combines the industry’s highest productivity and best-in-class yields with low cost of operation further enabling lower manufacturing costs for light emitting diodes (LEDs for general lighting applications. Available in one-and two-reactor configurations EPIK700 features breakthrough technologies to drive higher yields in a tighter bin. EPIK700 offers a 2.5x throughput advantage over other systems due to its large reactor size.  Designed for mass production EPIK700 accommodates 31x4” 12x6” and 6x8” wafer carrier sizes.  Customers can easily transfer processes from existing TurboDisc systems to the new EPIK700 MOCVD platform for quick-start production of high quality LEDs.  Because of the flexible EPIK700 MOCVD platform more upgrades added benefits and future enhancements will continue to differentiate this world-class system.

LED manufacturers are under pressure to lower manufacturing costs while adding MOCVD system capacity to meet growing consumer demand.  Therefore they need high productivity high yield and reliable MOCVD systems.  By combining the advanced TurboDisc reactor design with excellent uniformity higher productivity proven automation low consumable costs and improved footprint efficiency The EPIK700 significantly improves the cost per wafer for our customers.

Based on Veeco’s proven TurboDisc technology the EPIK700 MOCVD system enables customers to achieve a cost per wafer savings of up to 20 percent compared to previous generations through improved wafer uniformity reduced operating expenses and increased productivity.  The EPIK700 system features a reactor with more than twice the capacity of current generation reactors.  This increased volume combined with productivity advancements within the reactor results in a 2.5x throughput advantage over previous generation MOCVD systems.

Veeco is the first company to introduce a reactor size that is significantly larger than the previous industry standard.  The large reactor size coupled with technological advancements enable our customers to obtain the highest throughput and the lowest cost of ownership - key metrics in accelerating adoption of solid-state lighting.  EPIK700 features breakthrough technologies including the new IsoFlange center injection flow and TruHeat wafer coil that provide homogeneous laminar flow and uniform temperature profile across the entire wafer carrier.  These technological innovations produce wavelength uniformity to drive higher yields in a tighter bin. EPIK700 offers a 2.5x throughput advantage over other systems due to its large reactor size. 





Key Dates 2016/2017

Nominations open 25th November 2016
Nominations close 9th January 2017
Shortlist announced 16th January 2017
Voting opens 16th January 2017
Voting closes 21st February 2017
Winners informed 21st February 2017
Awards ceremony 7th March 2017

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