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1 August 2007


C9 to build fab based on isotopic SiC technology

Following the award of a $1.75m grant from the state of New York, C9 Corp of Kingston, NY, USA has announced plans to build a silicon carbide wafer fabrication plant and offices at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Plant (to be completed next year). The firm aims to create 35 jobs there by 2010.

C9 is a privately funded firm founded in 2005 by executives at three New York companies: chief technology officer Dr C.G. Wang (president and CEO of device R&D firm Nanodynamics-88, which is supported mainly by defense contracts and awards); president and chief executive officer Kevin Donegan (CEO of Amtrade, which brings military R&D technologies to the commercial market); and chief operating officer and senior VP Frank Falatyn (president and CEO of manufacturing services firm FALA Technologies). Currently co-located at FALA’s manufacturing plant in Kingston, C9’s focus is to bring Nanodynamics-88’s semiconductor technologies to market.

The firm’s primary technologies include: SiC-based devices that are claimed to be defect-free (with epitaxial quality products ‘equivalent to those currently found in standard semiconductor wafer processing’); SiC/silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers; specialty thermal materials; and harsh-environment products.

C9 is consequently manufacturing SiC-based superlattice wafers for high-power electric switching devices and high-temperature, high-speed chips. Secondly, the firm is also developing a program to produce lightweight isotopes (silicon 28, silicon 30 and carbon 13), which have the enhanced thermal characteristics needed for improving both silicon and SiC-based wafer products. Wang created three of the nine known methods of isotope enrichment as well as the firm’s current approach to SiC fabrication (the firm’s core patented products). Thirdly, C9 plans to manufacture silicon and SiC wafers using its silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology (for high-speed and harsh-environment microprocessors and control chips).

CEO Donegan, who previously led a team from SAIC, Northrop Grumman, United Defense and Satcon for the DARPA CHPS (Combat Hybrid Power System) program that started in 1997, says that the firm will develop technology for use by the US Defense Department. C9 has invested $11m in research and development of SiC wafers for the military’s hybrid electronic armored vehicle program. The military is expected to also use the technology in solar-related projects.

C9 says that it has several ongoing contracts with defense contractors and military agencies, as well as commercial agreements underway to provide materials and devices (Amtrade has previously designed and issued proposals for converter platforms up to the megawatt class for corporate clients.) The firm adds that it is currently in discussions with prospective business partners.

See related items:

Norstel and ETRI/AIST collaborate on SiC materials development

Norstel's new SiC plant inaugurated