8 January 2010


HexaTech raises $300,000 in debt financing

Privately held firm HexaTech Inc of Morrisville in the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area of North Carolina has raised $300,000 in debt financing, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), reports the Triangle Business Journal.

HexaTech was spun off from the Department of Materials Science of North Carolina State University in 2001 with a transfer of technology — developed by the firm’s co-founders Dr Zlatko Sitar (president & chief technology officer) and Dr Raoul Schlesser (VP development) — to produce single-crystalline aluminum nitride (AlN) substrates for both electronic and optoelectronic devices. Subsequently, in November 2005, the firm raised $8.9m in a Series A round of financing led by Intersouth Partners of Durham, NC and joined by H.I.G. Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds and NC IDEA.

HexaTech says that its proprietary technology combines the benefits of physical vapor transport (PVT) growth and of seeded growth for the reproducible production of single-crystal AlN boules. Seeded growth enables the fabrication of AlN boules of pre-defined crystallographic orientation. AlN wafers fabricated from the crystals are of well-defined orientation and of high, reproducible crystal quality, the firm says.

HexaTech also subsequently demonstrated a polarity-controlled device layer deposition process that is compatible with industry-standard MOCVD growth equipment. Control over the polarity opens up processing routes that allow the production of efficient deep-UV LEDs by growing aluminum gallium nitride (AlGaN) layers on AlN substrates (targeting an emission wavelength of 254nm, which is known to interact with DNA in a way that stops water-borne organisms from reproducing).

Consequently, in 2007, HexaTech won a $2m Advanced Technology Program (ATP) grant from the US Commerce Department’s National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) as part of a $3.28m, three-year project (starting in November) to develop high-effiency deep ultraviolet LEDs for use as a high-energy UV light source to kill micro-organisms in drinking and waste water (as a longer-lasting and more environmentally friendly replacement for existing mercury-based UV tubes).

See related item:

HexaTech awarded $2m ATP grant for high-efficiency UV-LEDs

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