|Monocrystal, the Stavropol, Russia-based sapphire wafer supplier, says that it has shipped 8-inch-diameter, c-plane, epi-ready sapphire substrates to “one of the world’s leading LED manufacturers.” The wafers are being used in R&D, rather than production.
The LED industry is moving quickly towards larger-diameter wafers, and it is known that several LED manufacturers have already adopted 150-mm sapphire wafers.
“After 6-inch sapphire substrates first became available on the market, it took leading LED manufacturers three years to launch R&D on their use for LED production,” said Oleg Kachalov, CEO of Monocrystal.
“The period was shorter for the 8-inch substrates – Monocrystal was the first to introduce and ship them to a MOCVD system manufacturer in August 2008,” continued Kachalov. “Now, we have supplied our premium 8-inch c-plane epi-ready sapphire substrates for R&D use at the forefront of LED manufacturing.
In Monocrystal’s view, the market dynamics in the LED space indicate a further shift toward the use of the larger-diameter substrates, as well as the growing role of the suppliers, capable of meeting the high technology standards of the today's LED market.
“Monocrystal has been supplying 8-inch sapphire substrates for the R&D on RFIC applications for the last two years, and we have gained considerable experience in large-diameter sapphire substrates production,” said Mikhail Berest, VP Sales & Marketing of Monocrystal. “We are glad to be able now to support also our LED customers in making a technological breakthrough which will help bring forth the widespread use of the LED lighting.”
Thermal Technology ships multiple sapphire-crystal furnaces
In related news, Thermal Technology, a manufacturer of crystal-growth equipment and high-temperature furnace systems, says that it recently received 59 orders for its Model K1 90 kg sapphire-crystal grower from customers in Taiwan, Korea and China.
In total, these growers will produce 5.2 million two-inch-equivalents (TIEs) per year.
"I recently returned from our customer’s site in Taiwan where they ceremoniously unveiled a perfect 90-kg crystal grown in our K1 system,” says Matt Mede, Thermal Technology president and CEO. “It made the evening news. They own 14 K1 systems which are being used for LED substrate production.”