Anvil Semiconductors awarded TSB grant to grow high quality GaN on 3C-SiC on large diameter silicon substrates

Anvil Semiconductors, the 3C-SiC on silicon power device developer, has been awarded a grant by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to evaluate the feasibility of using its unique stress relief technology to enable the production of low cost, high brightness LEDs on large diameter silicon substrates.

Fabricating GaN-based LEDs on large diameter silicon wafers is recognised as a key path to reducing the cost of lighting systems and displays.  However, existing techniques used to manage the large mismatches in lattice parameter and thermal coefficient of expansion between silicon and GaN are complex and costly and to date have struggled to deliver materials suitable for high efficiency devices.    However, with the growth of GaN-based LED structures on SiC already well-established, high quality 3C-SiC on silicon produced using Anvil’s proprietary stress relief technology could provide an attractive alternative solution which can be readily migrated onto 150mm diameter substrates and beyond.

The grant will fund work to produce and characterise typical GaN-based epilayers on Anvil’s 3C-SiC on silicon wafers.  With Anvil’s process able to produce high quality 3C-SiC surfaces with orientation close to (100), the project will also explore the technology’s potential for producing the elusive cubic and importantly non-polar form of GaN.  If successful this could be highly beneficial and pave the way for further device benefits including improved LED efficiencies and lower power consumption displays.

Jill Shaw, CEO of Anvil Semiconductors commented: “We’re delighted to have been given this opportunity to explore the potential for Anvil’s technology in another exciting market.  If we’re successful we will be looking for partners to help us take it forward”.

About Anvil Semiconductors

Anvil Semiconductors which is backed by Business Angels and early stage VCs was established in August 2010 to develop unique silicon carbide power devices for the power electronics industry.

Power electronics and switches are used to switch and control power from AC line to DC conversion for applications as diverse as laptop computers or other consumer products to railway electric traction and the grid. In the modern world it is ubiquitous and plays a key role in improving the efficiency in energy utilisation of everyday products.

Anvil’s alternative approach to SiC switches offers significant improvements in efficiency whilst costing no more than their silicon competitors.  This approach involves growing a thin layer of 3 step cubic SiC (3C-SiC) on silicon substrates sufficient to build the active power devices.  In addition to the fundamental crystal growth expertise, Anvil has intellectual property (IP) relating to resolving the problem of the stress which is inevitable when growing SiC on silicon and which to date has prevented the widespread adoption of this technology.  The Anvil IP has been proven on 100mm diameter silicon wafers and can be readily migrated onto larger wafer diameters without modification.  More information on Anvil Semiconductors and its technology can be found at  www.anvil-semi.co.uk