Showing posts with label GaN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GaN. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Problem solved - In0.5Ga0.5N layers by Atomic Layer Deposition!

Pedersen Group at Linköping University, Sweden, present an ALD approach to metastable In1-xGaxN with 0.1 < x < 0.5 based on solid In- and Ga-precursors that were co-sublimed into the deposition chamber in one pulse. A near In0.5Ga0.5N film with a bandgap of 1.94 eV was achieved on Si (100) substrate. Epitaxial In1-xGaxN (0002) was successfully grown directly on 4H-SiC (0001).

In0.5Ga0.5N layers by Atomic Layer Deposition
P. Rouf, J. Palisaitis, B. Bakhit, N. J. O'Brien and H. Pedersen, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2021, DOI: 10.1039/D1TC02408F. (LINK)

a) Cross-sectional STEM-HAADF image of the ~60 nm In1-xGaxN film on 4H-SiC substrate with a zoomed in image of the b) In82Ga18N and c) In18Ga82N layers. d) SAED pattern from the film and substrate. EDX maps of Ga e), In f) and Si g). EELS maps of N h) and C i).

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Imec and AIXTRON Demonstrate 200 mm GaN Epitaxy on AIX G5+ C

Imec and AIXTRON Demonstrate 200 mm GaN Epitaxy on AIX G5+ C for 1200V Applications with Breakdown in Excess of 1800V

LEUVEN (Belgium), APRIL 29, 2021 — Imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, and AIXTRON, the leading provider of deposition equipment for compound semiconductor materials, have demonstrated epitaxial growth of gallium-nitride (GaN) buffer layers qualified for 1200V applications on 200mm QST® substrates, with a hard breakdown exceeding 1800V. The manufacturability of 1200V-qualified buffer layers opens doors to highest voltage GaN-based power applications such as electric cars, previously only feasible with silicon-carbide (SiC)-based technology. The result comes after the successful qualification of AIXTRON’s G5+ C fully automated metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor at imec, Belgium, for integrating the optimized material epi-stack.

AIX G5+ C reactor module with cassette-to-cassette wafer handler (

Wide-bandgap materials gallium-nitride (GaN) and silicon-carbide (SiC) have proved their value as next-generation semiconductors for power-demanding applications where silicon (Si) falls short. SiC-based technology is the most mature, but it is also more expensive. Over the years tremendous progress has been made with GaN-based technology grown on for example 200mm Si wafers. At imec, qualified enhancement mode high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) and Schottky diode power devices have been demonstrated for 100V, 200V and 650V operating voltage ranges, paving the way for high-volume manufacturing applications. However, achieving operating voltages higher than 650V has been challenged by the difficulty of growing thick-enough GaN buffer layers on 200mm wafers. Therefore, SiC so far remains the semiconductor of choice for 650-1200V applications – including for example electric cars and renewable energy.

For the first time, imec and AIXTRON have demonstrated epitaxial growth of GaN buffer layers qualified for 1200V applications on 200mm QST® (in SEMI standard thickness) substrates at 25°C and 150°C, with a hard breakdown exceeding 1800V. Denis Marcon, Senior Business Development Manager at imec: “GaN can now become the technology of choice for a whole range of operating voltages from 20V to 1200V. Being processable on larger wafers in high-throughput CMOS fabs, power technology based on GaN offers a significant cost advantage compared to the intrinsically expensive SiC-based technology.”

Key to achieving the high breakdown voltage is the careful engineering of the complex epitaxial material stack in combination with the use of 200mm QST® substrates, executed in scope of the IIAP program The CMOS-fab friendly QST® substrates from Qromis have a thermal expansion that closely matches the thermal expansion of the GaN/AlGaN epitaxial layers, paving the way for thicker buffer layers – and hence higher voltage operation.

Dr. Felix Grawert, CEO and President of AIXTRON “The successful development of imec’s 1200V GaN-on-QST® epi-technology into AIXTRON’s MOCVD reactor is a next step in our collaboration with imec. Earlier, after having installed AIXTRON G5+C at imec’s facilities, imec’s proprietary 200mm GaN-on-Si materials technology was qualified on our G5+ C high-volume manufacturing platform, targeting for example high-voltage power switching and RF applications and enabling our customer to achieve a rapid production ramp-up by pre-validated available epi-recipes. With this new achievement, we will be able to jointly tap into new markets.” Currently, lateral e-mode devices are being processed to prove device performance at 1200V, and efforts are ongoing to extend the technology towards even higher voltage applications. Next to this, imec is also exploring 8-inch GaN-on-QST® vertical GaN devices to further extend the voltage and current range of GaN-based technology.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Improved crystalline quality of Plasma ALD GaN ising plasma surface pretreatment

Semiconductor Today reports that Researchers based in China and the USA have improved the crystal quality of gallium nitride (GaN) thin films on sapphire from a 350°C low-temperature plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition process (PE-ALD) using an in-situ bake and plasma substrate pretreatment.

Source: Baking and plasma-enhanced low-temperature gallium nitride atomic layer deposition, Moke Cooke, Semiconductor Today LINK

Journal Publicarion Sanjie Liu et al, Appl. Phys. Lett., vol116, p211601, 2020

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Industrial Atomic Layer Deposition for Image Sensors and Light Sources

Here is an interview by SEMI (LINK) with Dr. Mikko Söderlund, sales director for Beneq’s semiconductor business. The interview is about trends in ALD applications. Söderlund shared his views ahead of his presentation at SEMI MEMS & Imaging Sensors Summit, 25-27 September, 2019, at the WTC in Grenoble, France. Besides the leading edge 300 mm semi market Beneq sees ALD growth in the following markets.

  • Backside Illuminated (BSI) CMOS Image Sensors (CIS)  
  • MEMS (actuators and sensors, RF) 
  • GaN Power and RF
  • Photonics.

Dr. Mikko Söderlund is the Sales Director for Beneq’s semiconductor business. He has more than 20 years of experience in product development, product management, technical sales and business development across Photonics, OLED, and Semiconductor industries. Mikko received his Ph.D. in Micro- and Nanotechnology from the Helsinki University of Technology.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Oxford Instruments launches Atomfab®: High volume ALD manufacturing solution for GaN power device passivation

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology (OIPT) has today launched a revolutionary plasma Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) high volume manufacturing (HVM) solution delivering a step change needed to address fundamental challenges in the GaN power device industry.

Gallium nitride devices are enabling the next generation of efficient power electronic devices for applications such as compact consumer power supplies, 5G networks, electric vehicles and renewable energy conversion.

GaN devices are more efficient and higher performance than current technologies, however there are manufacturing yield and scalability challenges. These need to be addressed to deliver reliable devices at a competitive cost.

One of the key challenges is a consistently high-quality gate passivation, Atomfab delivers this solution with high throughput and low Cost of Ownership (CoO). 
  • Performance: Excellent passivation and dielectric properties enable the demanding device performance critical for key applications.
  • Plasma: Remote plasma delivers a reproducible GaN interface. Atomfab precisely controls the plasma to protect the underlying sensitive GaN substrate.
  • Pace: High throughput delivered by a high deposition rate process on a high uptime HVM platform specifically developed for GaN power applications.
The significantly reduced cost per wafer that Atomfab delivers is enabled by numerous technical innovations including a patent pending revolutionary fast remote plasma source.

Atomfab fulfils the customer needs on a single wafer platform with SEMI standard cluster configurations and improved process controls for the latest compound semiconductor solutions.

“Atomfab provides many key benefits to our GaN device manufacturing customers including significant CoO reduction, increased yield and excellent film quality & device performance. For many years Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology has been known as the go to supplier for compound semiconductor plasma solutions. We’ve leveraged that knowledge onto a HVM platform to ensure optimum devices are produced all day, every day”, says Klaas Wisniewski, Strategic Business Development Director, OIPT.

Mike Gansser-Potts, Managing Director, OIPT states: “We’ve been highly commended for our unique plasma ALD solutions and have listened to our HVM customers to take these solutions to the next level. We are happy to announce that Atomfab provides these HVM solutions to our customers”. 
For more information on Atomfab please visit

Additional Information:

Whitepaper: "Atomic Layer Deposition and Atomic Layer Etching for GaN Power Electronics"(LINK)

Blog: "5 Ways ALD Can Benefit GaN Devices" (LINK).

Friday, June 21, 2019

Aixtron partners in UltimateGaN project to make power semiconductors available for broad applications at competitive cost

[Semicondutor Today] Deposition equipment maker Aixtron SE of Herzogenrath, near Aachen, Germany says that it is a partner in the European research project UltimateGaN (research for GaN technologies, devices and applications to address the challenges of the futureGaN roadmap). In addition to Aixtron, 25 other companies and institutions from nine countries have come together to research the next generation of energy-saving chips based on gallium nitride (GaN) over the next three years. The aim is to make these power semiconductors available for a wide range of applications at globally competitive costs.

The UltimateGaN consortium consists of 26 well-established participants originating from 9 European member states and associated countries constituting a balanced mix of industry and research with complementary skills and expertise. The multidisciplinary partners cover the entire value chain technology – packaging – reliability – application.

UltimateGaN is one of the largest existing European research projects in semiconductor development. The €48m in funding consists of investment by industry, subsidies from the individual participating countries and the Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL) Joint Undertaking (JU).

Efficient use of energy for climate protection

“By developing intelligent technologies, we are making a key contribution to the global challenge of climate change,” says Aixtron president Dr Felix Grawert. “New materials and efficient chip solutions play a key role here. With this research project, we are creating the conditions for making innovative energy-saving chips available for many future-oriented everyday applications,” he adds.

“Gallium nitride semiconductor devices are revolutionizing energy use on many levels,” says professor Michael Heuken, Aixtron’s VP Research & Development. “The research project opens up an enormous global market potential,” he adds. “It enables better performance and efficiency in a wide range of applications and significantly improves user comfort. Efficient operation of servers and data centers, fast and wireless charging of smartphones, data exchange between machines in real time, or lightning-fast video streaming become reality.”
Source: Semiconductor Today LINK

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Aledia Taps Veeco's Compound Semiconductor Expertise, Citing High-Quality Gallium Nitride Epitaxial Film Performance

Display Technology Innovator Expands Portfolio of Veeco Thin Film Process Technologies to Advance Next-Generation 3D Micro-LEDs

PLAINVIEW, New York, — Veeco Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: VECO) announced today that Aledia, a developer and manufacturer of next-generation 3D LEDs for display applications, has expanded its portfolio of Veeco thin film process equipment to support the development and production of advanced 3D micro-LEDs. Aledia cited Veeco’s proven leadership in compound semiconductor applications, GaN-on-silicon growth performance, and capability to grow a full range of high-quality epitaxial films as key factors influencing its decision. 
Veeco’s Propel™ Power GaN MOCVD system is designed specifically for the power electronics industry. Featuring a single-wafer reactor platform, capable of processing six- and eight-inch wafers, the system deposits high-quality GaN films for the production of highly efficient power electronic devices.

“We have been impressed with the performance of Veeco’s Propel™ GaN MOCVD platform for large-wafer 3D LED production, and naturally turned to Veeco again to support our advanced LED development,” said Philippe Gilet, co-founder and CTO of Aledia. “Veeco’s solutions meet our rigorous material quality and system delivery requirements along with unmatched material flux stability and repeatability. We are excited to take the next step with them in producing next-generation 3D micro-LEDs.”

The collaboration between Aledia and Veeco reflects the immense promise of micro-LEDs and other advanced LEDs for the future of displays. Micro-LEDs offer high efficiency, brightness and reliability benefits with shorter response time, enabling lighter, thinner and flexible displays with energy saving advantages for applications such as wearables, smartphones, automotive, signage/large TVs, augmented reality/virtual reality, etc. According to a recent Yole Développement report, there have been close to 1,500 patents filed related to micro-LED display from 125 different companies, with the bulk of activity occurring after 2012.

“With the significant shift toward exploration of micro-LEDs for use in next-generation displays, leaders like Aledia are turning to Veeco,” said Gerry Blumenstock, senior vice president and general manager of Veeco’s compound semiconductor business unit. “Veeco’s proven materials engineering expertise puts us in a unique position to offer innovative thin film deposition technologies for customers tackling tough compound semiconductor research, development and production challenges.”

Veeco will exhibit and present at the CS International Conference, March 26-27, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. Mark McKee, director of product marketing for Veeco’s MOCVD business unit, will present “Accelerating Photonics Growth through Advances in High Performance As/P MOCVD and Wet Processing Technology,” on March 27, 2019 at 9:50 a.m. CET.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Atomic layer etching of MOCVD epitaxial gallium nitride

As have been reported before by Lund Nano Lab in Sweden (e.g. at ALE2016 Ireland and ALE2017 Denver) it is quite possible to use a standard ICP reactive ion etch chamber to run Atomic Layer Etching (ALE). Here is a nice publication from Aalto University in Finland and current and ex scientists from Lund Nano Lab in Sweden transferring the ALE processes from Lund and running it on an Oxford Instruments Plasmalab 100 in ALE mode etching GaN in Helsinki Micronova clean room.

The Oxford Instruments Plasmalab 100 at Aalto University Micronova clean room (LINK to technical specs and capabilities) 

MOCVD grown epitaxial AlGaN/GaN heterostructures implemented in high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) have a well-defined layered structure with the two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG). However, etching of the gate recess is challenging as conventional RIE does not provide sufficiently good control over the etch process, and high energy ions can cause damage to the 2DEG layer. This paper showcase how these problems can be avoided if GaN ALE is used in etching these recesses.

Sabbir Khan - the ALE King tuning the Plasma at Lund Nano Lab.

Besides techniques of growing a single monolayer or few monolayers of GaN are challenging. GaN ALE could provide an alternative method to the 2D material community by a controlled thinning of high quality films of GaN down to a few atomic layers.

Please find the abstract to the Open Access JVSTA publication below:

Atomic layer etching of gallium nitride (0001)
Christoffer Kauppinen, Sabbir Ahmed Khan, Jonas Sundqvist, Dmitry B. Suyatin, Sami Suihkonen, Esko I. Kauppinen, and Markku Sopanen

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films 35, 060603 (2017); doi:

Abstract: In this work, atomic layer etching (ALE) of thin film Ga-polar GaN(0001) is reported in detail using sequential surface modification by Cl2 adsorption and removal of the modified surface layer by low energy Ar plasma exposure in a standard reactive ion etching system. The feasibility and reproducibility of the process are demonstrated by patterning GaN(0001) films by the ALE process using photoresist as an etch mask. The demonstrated ALE is deemed to be useful for the fabrication of nanoscale structures and high electron mobility transistors and expected to be adoptable for ALE of other materials.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Veeco Instruments, imec Enter Development Deal for Gallium Nitride Epi Wafers

Veeco Instruments reported that it has signed a joint development project (JDP) agreement with imec, a Belgium-based nano-electronics research center, to accelerate the development of Gallium Nitride (GaN) based, power electronic devices using GaN Epi wafers. Under the development project, the GaN Epi wafers will be created using Veeco’s Propel Power GaN metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system. Veeco’s Propel® Power GaN MOCVD system.

Veeco’s Propel™ Power GaN MOCVD system is designed specifically for the power electronics industry. Featuring a single-wafer reactor platform, capable of processing six- and eight-inch wafers, the system deposits high-quality GaN films for the production of highly efficient power electronic devices. The single-wafer reactor is based on Veeco’s leading TurboDisc® design with breakthrough technology, including the new IsoFlange™ and SymmHeat™ technologies that provide homogeneous laminar flow and uniform temperature profile across the entire wafer. Customers can easily transfer processes from Veeco K465i™ and MaxBright™ systems to the Propel Power GaN MOCVD platform. (

Imec has already demonstrated significant gains in GaN layer uniformity and run-to-run repeatability with Veeco’s Propel system, resulting in significantly improved power device yields. The single wafer reactor incorporates Veeco’s proprietary TurboDisc® technology that delivers superior film uniformity, run-to-run control and defect levels compared to batch reactors.

Friday, June 19, 2015

IKEA invests in French GaN on Silicon LED lighting technology

As reported by Electronics Weekly : Ikea’s venture capital arm has invested in a French firm developing and manufacturing 3D LEDs. Grenoble-based Aledia is developing LEDs for lighting based a gallium-nitride-on-silicon technology.

Two years after it began phasing out incandescent bulbs, Swedish retailer Ikea announced that it is taking another step and planning to sell only energy-efficient LED lighting by 2016.

Ikea believes there is this low-price LED lighting technology for residential use has the potential of faster implementation of the LED technology, leading to savings for customers.

Christian Ehrenborg, managing director of Ikea GreenTech AB, said:

“This technology will be one important part in the IKEA Group strategy to supply high-quality, energy-saving lighting products to consumers worldwide.”

Christian Ehrenborg, Bald guy.

Aledia received the investment from IKEA as part of a €28.4m funding round.

“This financing round, abundantly oversubscribed and particularly the presence of two very large potential corporate customers, testifies to the interest that our cost-disruptive nanowire LED technology is generating in the customer base, as well as in the financial community,” said Giorgio Anania, CEO, chairman and co-founder of Aledia.

Aledia is developing LEDs that are manufactured on 200mm diameter GaN-on-silicon wafers to keep cost down.

Anania said:

“We are progressing with the development of the technology and this financing round will allow us to accelerate significantly the speed of development and the customer traction. In Valeo we have a major potential customer in the automotive LED market, generally viewed as the most profitable market segment. Simultaneously with the investment, we have signed a supply agreement with Valeo.”

The technology was originally developed by CEA-Leti

Fundamental Differences in Planar and 3D LEDs

(Some background information from

Conventional LEDs are planar, two-dimensional (2D) devices that emit light from a thin material layer at or near their flat surfaces. They typically are made by depositing multiple layers of various materials, each having different thermal expansion and crystal lattice constants, on small wafers with diameters between 2 inches and 6 inches. The vast majority of LEDs are made of GaN and indium gallium nitride (InGaN) material. Depositing high-quality layers of these materials requires the GaN to be grown on substrate wafers that are made of expensive materials such as sapphire, silicon carbide or gallium nitride, as these materials are closely matched to GaN in terms of thermal expansion coefficient and crystal lattice parameters. Building planar GaN LEDs on larger and less expensive wafers made of silicon – a material that is very different from GaN in terms of thermal expansion and crystal lattice constant – is being tried, but to date this approach has shown only moderate cost savings while often incurring high defect densities, lower performance and lower yields. These factors contribute to the high costs of today’s LEDs.

In contrast, Aledia’s WireLED product technology uses economical silicon wafers with diameters of 8 inches (200 mm) or larger. On each wafer, millions of vertical microwires or microrods of GaN are grown, each with a diameter of less than 1 micron. Each microwire is an LED, capable of emitting light from all sides.

Standard Technology - 2D (Planar) LEDs:
• Small, expensive substrate
• Slow MOCVD growth process (high capital expenditure)
• High materials consumption
• LED-specific manufacturing plants
• Light emission area = at most the 2D area
• Single color on one wafer

3D (Microwire) LEDs:
• Large, economical substrate
• Fast MOCVD growth process (low capital expenditure)
• Low materials consumption
• Existing high-volume silicon wafer fabs
• Light emission area = up to 3X the 2D area = more light/mm2 or less current density, less efficiency droop
• Multiple colors on one wafer or even on one chip