17 July 2012

EpiGaN starts 8-inch GaN-on-Si development on Aixtron reactors

Deposition equipment maker Aixtron SE of Herzogenrath, Germany says that new customer EpiGaN of Hasselt, Belgium, a start-up manufacturer of III-nitride epitaxial material, has successfully commissioned two new metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) systems, able to operate in either multiple 6” or 8” configurations. It will use the systems to commercialize 6” GaN-on-silicon wafers for a range of power and RF electronics devices as well as to develop the next generation of 200mm GaN-on-silicon wafers.

The reactors were installed and commissioned by Aixtron Europe’s service support team at EpiGaN’s purpose-built facility in Research Campus Hasselt, Belgium.  

Incorporated in 2010, EpiGaN was founded by chief executive officer Dr Marianne Germain, chief technology officer Dr Joff Derluyn, and chief operating officer Dr Stefan Degroote, as a spin-off of nanoelectronics research center Imec in Leuven, Belgium. For more than 10 years, the founders jointly developed GaN-on-Si technology on 4” and 6” wafers at Imec, part of which has been licensed to EpiGaN. Early this month, EpiGaN closed its first capital round of €4m, to allow it to start volume production of GaN-on-Si epitaxial material. Investors include Capricorn Cleantech Fund, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, and LRM.

EpiGaN aims to provide device manufacturers with early access to a unique, proven power-management and RF technology addressing key market segments such as power supplies for consumer electronics devices, and renewable and clean-tech energy sources such as hybrid electric vehicles and solar inverters, RF power for wireless base stations, and smart-grid applications. The firm is also participating in the EU project HiPoSwitch (‘High Power Switch’), which aims to develop more compact and more powerful energy converters.

“After completing our funding round, we were ready to implement the strategic plan to establish our production capacities,” says EpiGaN’s Dr Marianne Germain. “After several years of efficient joint collaboration with Aixtron towards GaN-on-Si, it was evident that these Close Coupled Showerhead systems from Aixtron perfectly suit our needs. The EpiGaN team has worked with Aixtron CCS MOCVD systems at Imec and we have jointly published numerous papers on GaN-on-silicon development,” she adds. “There are challenges ahead for high-voltage 200mm GaN-on-Si, but we are confident that the combination of our enduring expertise and the leading-edge equipment and process technology from our partner Aixtron will deliver all our objectives rapidly and efficiently.”

“We are very pleased to announce this new order from one of Europe’s newest and most promising start-ups,” comments Dr Frank Wischmeyer, Aixtron’s VP & program manager Power Electronics. “Aixtron is pleased to partner with EpiGaN as they advance equipment, processes and materials for larger area GaN-on-silicon wafers.”

See related items:

Imec spin-off EpiGaN starts production at new site

See: Aixtron Company Profile

Tags: Aixtron MOCVD EpiGaN GaN-on-Si

Visit: www.epigan.com

Visit: www.aixtron.com

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