World's First 2 inch Aluminium Nitride Substrates from Crystal IS

Crystal IS, the world's leading supplier of ultra-low defect density bulk aluminum nitride (AlN), today announced the release of the world's first 2-inch AlN substrates for use in high power RF electronics, blue, and UV optoelectronics.

Crystal IS has developed a manufacturing technique to grow a novel crystal which, when sliced and polished, can be used as a semiconductor substrate for the next generation in optoelectronic and high power RF devices. With a high thermal conductivity and a low lattice mismatch to the device layers, this material offers significant advantages in terms of reliability, operating powers and can reach wavelengths in the deep UV spectrum unavailable to conventional materials. According to Ding Day, Crystal IS CEO, "This development is significant as it opens up a number of market opportunities including bio-agent sensors, phototherapy, water, and air purification."

Sean Brownlee, director with venture capital firm 3i and board member of Crystal IS notes, "Crystal IS is poised for dramatic growth with the introduction of its 2-inch substrates. Crystal IS is leveraging nanotechnology to grow novel crystals which can be used for UV optoelectronics used in water and air purification."

Today, substrates represent 10-15% of the compound semiconductor market. The percentage of nitride devices requiring high performance substrates is expected to increase to 25% in 2007.

Crystal IS uses a patented technique for bulk AlN crystal growth, making it possible to manufacture 2-inch native substrates (sliced from the bulk crystal) with ultra-low defect densities. Two-inch AlN substrates are now commercially available from Crystal IS with up to 50% single crystal usable area. Further development is underway through 2007 to increase the usable area on the 2-inch substrate towards 100%.

According to Ding Day, "Until recently, low-defect native AlN substrates have only been available in small pieces (1-inch or less) and typically of irregular shapes, making them unsuitable for high volume wafer fabrication. Alternative techniques do exist to produce 'quasi-bulk' AlN substrates, but these all involve growing on non-native substrates and result in a high level of defect densities- more than 100,000 times that of the native substrate. The release of low-defect 2-inch AlN substrates will make this technology compatible with most optoelectronic process lines and will enable the commercialization of deep UV optoelectronic products."

The company is currently expanding its manufacturing facility and has recently expanded its executive team with the addition of Dr. Ding Day as CEO and Tim Bettles as VP of Business Development, Sales and Marketing.

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