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9 July 2007


Norstel and ETRI/AIST collaborate on SiC materials development

Norstel AB of Norrköping, Sweden and the Energy Technology Research Institute (ETRI) of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba, Japan have signed a strategic collaboration agreement for the development of silicon carbide single-crystal material for semiconductor applications. The parties aim to jointly develop next-generation crystal growth processes for large-diameter high-quality and cost-effective high-volume SiC manufacturing.

Norstel was established in February 2005 as a spin-off from silicon wafer manufacturer Okmetic Oyj which has, since 1995, developed and patented the high-temperature chemical vapor deposition (HTCVD) method for growing SiC single-crystal ingots. Norstel is currently ramping up its manufacturing operations in its new facility (opened last August). Under the supervision of Dr Alexandre Ellison, the HTCVD method has yielded very high-purity wafers, the firm claims.

Under the supervision of Dr Shin-ichi Nishizawa over the past seven years, AIST has developed growth techniques based on the sublimation method, with what are claimed to be impressive results on material quality up to 4” in diameter. In April, Nishizawa joined AIST’s ETRI.

The main purpose of the collaboration is to study next-generation SiC crystal growth techniques based on the HTCVD method to optimize crystal growth quality and manufacturability. “This agreement brings together a breadth of SiC expertise without parallel in the industry,” claims Norstel’s CEO Iain Jackson. “We are thrilled to have someone of Dr Nishizawa’s experience co-operating with Norstel as we look to next -generation SiC manufacturing technology”.

See related items:

TranSiC, KTH and Acreo share €1.3m in Swedish funding to develop SiC power modules

Norstel's new SiC plant inaugurated

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