IQE plc (AIM: IQE), the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor epitaxial wafer products and wafer services to the semiconductor industry, is pleased to announce that NanoGaN Limited (“NanoGaN”), a wholly owned subsidiary of IQE, has been granted two separate patents in relation to its nanocolumn technology for the production of advanced blue and green lasers and LEDs.
Patent 2008-549935 has been granted by the Japan Patent Office to NanoGaN. The title of the patent is: “growth method using nanostructure compliant layers and HVPE for producing high quality compound semiconductor materials.”
This patent protects the Group's proprietary nanocolumn technology for producing high quality, free-standing gallium nitride substrates, which are critical for manufacturing high quality blue and green semiconductor lasers and ultra high brightness LEDs for Solid State Lighting (“SSL”).
A second patent No.2446471, titled “production of semiconductor devices” has been granted by the UK patent office to protect the manufacturing of semiconductor devices including laser diodes, LEDs and solar cells, directly onto the nanocolumn platform, thus expanding the number and type of substrates that can be used for epitaxy.
The production of advanced blue and green semiconductor lasers and ultra high brightness LEDs requires stable, high quality substrates with minimal crystalline defects such as threading dislocations to increase yield and therefore reduce manufacturing costs.
IQE acquired NanoGaN in October 2009 with the aim of assisting in completing the development of commercial products and thereafter transferring the technology to its high volume production facilities.
IQE’s acquisition of NanoGaN complemented and enhanced IQE’s product portfolio by accelerating the Group’s strategic plans to develop a leadership position in the emerging high growth markets for advanced laser projection, high definition optical storage (including Blue Ray products), high resolution laser printing and SSL for industrial, commercial and residential lighting. It is envisaged that NanoGaN’s core technology may also be used to further enhance IQE’s leading position in the supply of GaN products for high power RF applications.
Professor Wang Nang Wang, founder of NanoGaN Limited and Chief Scientific Adviser to the IQE Board said:
“The granting of these patents covers all of the essential technologies for producing free-standing gallium nitride using our proprietary Hydride Vapour Phase Epitaxy (HVPE) process and nanocolumn growth technique.