30 May 2012

Nitride Solutions receives six-month, $150,000 SBIR grant from NSF

Nitride Solutions Inc of Wichita, KS, USA, which is developing substrates for LEDs, lasers and power electronics, has been awarded a US National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of nearly $150,000 to commercialize its manufacturing technology. The Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award supports the firm’s work to produce aluminium nitride (AlN) substrates at a high volume and low cost. The NSF selected just 10% of applicants for the 2012 Phase I award.

Founded in 2009, Nitride Solutions maintains strong ties to Kansas State University in Manhattan, with key employees and advisors hailing from the university, as well as University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). To date, the firm has raised $2.5m in funding from investors including Midwest Venture Alliance, NetWork Kansas, Mid-America Angels, Nebraska Angels and Aurora UV.

Nitride Solutions’ end product will be used to create more effective and more affordable water purification systems, consumer and industrial lighting, Blu-ray players, flat-screen TVs, and power systems for hybrid vehicles, says president & CEO Jeremy Jones. “Our process will bring nitride substrates — which will be critical in so many emerging applications — to commercial reality,” he adds. “The NSF has recognized that this is potentially a breakthrough technology, and that our company has the capital, the team and the equipment to create it.”

The project’s principal investigator is the firm’s R&D director Troy Baker Ph.D., who has experience in the growth of bulk aluminium nitride and gallium nitride substrates, having performed his doctoral work at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) under nitride-based LED and laser diode developer professor Shuji Nakamura.

Beginning on 1 July, the six-month grant will support Nitride’s move toward commercial production. Jones expects the firm to be selling its product by the end of this year. If Phase I results are deemed successful, the firm will be eligible for a Phase II SBIR grant of up to $500,000 to further support its growth.

The SBIR program aims to encourage technological innovation and commercialization in small businesses. According to the NSF, SBIR programs are the single largest source of patents in the USA.

Tags: Nitride Solutions AlN substrates

Visit: www.nitridesolutions.com

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