Gallium nitride-on-glass specialist BluGlass Ltd of Sydney, Australia, which was spun off from Macquarie University in late 2005, is presenting three technology developments in a worldwide road-show by CEO David Jordan over the next three weeks. The developments include:
1. The demonstration of good-uniformity nitride deposition over a 6-inch diameter wafer (nine times larger in area than the current 2-inch industry standard). Previously, last November, BluGlass demonstrated highly uniform nitride deposition on 4-inch glass wafers. Larger-diameter wafers enable a significant increase in manufacturing yield and improved efficiencies in downstream processing, further reducing LED manufacturing costs.
2. The demonstration (via financial cost of ownership modeling by US-based Wright Williams & Kelly) of the ability of BluGlass’ low-temperature remote plasma chemical vapor deposition (RPCVD) GaN technology to reduce deposition cost compared to using rotating disc reactor MOCVD technology (through reduced reactive materials usage, the elimination of expensive and toxic ammonia, and the use of low-cost glass substrates). This, coupled with possible benefits in downstream device fabrication, indicates a significant reduction in the cost of blue, green and white LEDs for general lighting applications, BluGlass claims.
3. The demonstration of continuous blue light emission from a heterojunction LED structure deposited at a very low temperature on sapphire, as well as short-lived emission on commercial glass.
The engineered substrates used in the demonstrations were developed in a technical and engineering program with the French materials group Saint Gobain, which last October signed an 18 month joint development agreement with BluGlass.
The advances boost BluGlass’ plans to accelerate the development of cheaper and more environmentally friendly LED lighting, the firm says.
“The high cost of LEDs has to date been one of the key factors in preventing their uptake in the general lighting market,” says Jordan. The announcements indicate that LED lighting using BluGlass technology could soon become significantly more cost competitive against current incandescent bulbs and compact fluoros in the general lighting market, he claims. Compact fluoros are the most efficient lighting available on the market, and were promoted recently by the Australian Federal Government’s energy savings strategy to phase out traditional incandescent light bulbs. “We welcome both the Australian Government and subsequent European Union’s action to make lighting more energy efficient by banning the incandescent light bulb, and believe that LEDs are rapidly becoming the most energy efficient form of lighting”.