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'First' 2-inch AlN substrates for high-power RF apps

Posted: 17 May 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:AlN substrate? aluminum nitride? crystal?

Crystal IS announced the release of what it claims to be the first 2-inch aluminum nitride (AlN) substrates for use in high power RF electronics, blue and UV optoelectronics.

According to Crystal, it developed a manufacturing technique to grow a crystal which, when sliced and polished, can be used as a semiconductor substrate for next-generation optoelectronic and high power RF devices. The material is said to have a high thermal conductivity and a low lattice mismatch to the device layers. It can also reach wavelengths in the deep UV spectrum unavailable to conventional materials.

Currently, substrates are said to represent 10-15 percent of the compound semiconductor market. The percentage of nitride devices requiring high performance substrates is expected to increase to 25 percent in 2007, revealed Crystal in a press release.

The company 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 currently available from Crystal with up to 50 percent single crystal usable area. Further development is said to be underway through 2007 to increase the usable area on the 2-inch substrate towards 100 percent.

"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," said Crystal CEO Ding Day. "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 densitiesmore 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."




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