10 June 2010


Lumileds donates MOCVD system for UCSC materials science research

The Baskin School of Engineering at University of California Santa Cruz has gained new materials science research capabilities through the donation by LED maker Philips Lumileds of San Jose, CA, USA of an AIX 200RF metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system made by Aixtron AG of Germany, originally purchased for about $4.5m and used to develop compound semiconductor materials for LEDs. Most notably, it was used in the development of Lumileds' white Luxeon LEDs.

The MOCVD system will be installed in associate professor of electrical engineering Nobuhiko Kobayashi’s Materials Synthesis Laboratory, which is being established in a former Texas Instruments property. Renovation of the facilities to house Kobayashi’s lab (as well as a Materials Characterization Laboratory for Baskin School of Engineering's dean Art Ramirez) should be completed by the end of 2010. The system will be used for research on new materials for solid-state energy conversion devices and other applications.

Kobayashi is developing semiconductor materials for use in devices that convert heat energy into useful electrical power. Such thermoelectric devices, if they become efficient enough, could be used to capture waste heat in a wide range of applications. Kobayashi is also investigating new materials for use in photovoltaic cells.

Picture: Nobuhiko Kobayashi will use the MOCVD system to develop new materials for thermoelectric and solar energy applications. Photo by T. Stephens.

“This donation is a great example of private industry supporting university education,” says Kobayashi. “The system that Lumileds has donated runs perfectly, but no longer met the company's needs for large-scale production,” he adds. “This is equipment that we could not otherwise afford, and it creates new opportunities for our students and research programs.”

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