Dow Corning has formalized an agreement to enter the imec multi-partner industrial R&D program on GaN semiconductor materials and device technologies. The program focuses on the development of the next generation GaN power devices and LEDs. The collaboration between Dow Corning and imec will concentrate on bringing the GaN epi-technology on silicon wafers to a manufacturing scale.
Due to the combination of superior electron mobility, higher breakdown voltage and good thermal conductivity properties, GaN/AIGaN heterostructures offer a high switching efficiency for the next generation power and RF devices compared to the current devices based on silicon (Si). A process for high quality GaN epi-layers on Si substrates is key in obtaining superior power & RF devices. Accurate control of the epi-growth process to master substrate bow, epi-layer defectivity and uniformity while maintaining high epi-reactor throughput are needed to reduce the overall technology cost. Imec has pioneered GaN epi-growth on sapphire, SiC and Si substrates from 2 to 6 inch substrate sizes and currently focuses on developing GaN epi-layers on 8 inch Si substrates. Leveraging the economics of scale and compatibility with high throughput and high capacity 8 inch Si wafer based process technology will further reduce the cost of GaN devices and LEDs.