Plessey acquires CamGaN for GaN-on-Si LED technology

February 7, 2012 — Plessey has acquired CamGaN Limited, a University of Cambridge spin-out with novel gallium nitride (GaN) technology for high-brightness light-emitting diodes (HB-LEDs) on large-area silicon substrates. Plessey will bring the technology into its 6" wafer processing facility in Plymouth, England to produce GaN-on-Si HB-LEDs.

"To date, the biggest technological challenge preventing the commercialization of HB-LEDs grown on large-area silicon substrates has been the large lattice mismatch between GaN and silicon. Plessey’s new GaN-on-silicon process has overcome this challenge," said Dr. John Ellis, chief engineer at Plessey.

The CamGaN technology enables growth of thin HB-LED structures on standard silicon substrates instead of silicon carbide (SiC) or sapphire substrates, which can cost 80% more than Si. It reduces scrap rates, minimizes batch time, and enables use of automated semiconductor processing equipment.

Also read: GaN-on-Si advances from Translucent and Bridgelux  and GaN-on-Si HB-LED demo from Lattice Power, ShineOn

The LEDs will target 150 lumens per watt output, which Plessey expects to achieve later this year with white LEDs. Plessey’s first samples of a blue LED are characterized by peak emission at 460nm. The technology extends to other emission wavelengths such as cyan and green. Being able to achieve such high brightness at the blue end of the spectrum enables phosphors to be used to produce white light with a balanced spectrum of light emission that is better for the eye. The devices will suit domestic, architectural, medical and automotive lighting.

Plessey also announced its plan to release a range of products for smart lighting concepts that incorporate existing Plessey sensing and control technologies including its EPIC sensor. These smart lighting products will enable intelligent energy management, remote control, controlled dimming and automated response to ambient conditions.

Plessey Semiconductors develops and manufactures semiconductor products used in sensing, measurement and control applications.

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