Plessey invests in GaN-on-Si LED production capacity expansion

March 03, 2016 // By PAUL BUCKLEY
 An AIX G5+ C cluster system from AIXTRON SE
Plymouth-based Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. has ordered an AIX G5+ C cluster system from AIXTRON SE to expand the production capacity of Plessey's gallium nitride LEDs manufactured on silicon wafers (GaN-on-Si).

The tool is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter 2016.

The AIX G5+ C cluster for Plessey consists of two multi-wafer AIX G5+ reactors, which are supplemented by AIXTRON's next generation cassette-to cassette handler for large-scale, fully automated epitaxy production. Plessey purchased the AIXTRON planetary system mainly for the expansion of their 150 mm GaN-on-Si wafer production but also works towards 200 mm production qualification mid-term as AIXTRON's G5+ system enables the processing of eight 150 mm wafers or five 200 mm wafers at the same time.

"We are now moving from proof of capability for our GaN-on-Si LED products into a capacity expansion phase. In the meantime, we have built significant demand for a range of our LED products. We have decided to purchase AIXTRON's latest planetary system as the AIX G5+ C combines outstanding on-wafer uniformity and run-to-run performance at lowest cost of ownership - aspects that are crucial for efficient high-volume GaN-on-Si production," said Mike Snaith, Operations Director at Plessey.

"Our AIX G5+ C planetary system resolves the common challenges of high-yield, high-quality and high-throughput production of GaN-based materials on large-area silicon wafers through its fully automated cassette-to-cassette loader and a thermally activated gas etch of the MOCVD chamber," said Dr. Frank Schulte, Vice President AIXTRON Europe.

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