For the first time ever, researchers at the Siemens subsidiary Osram Opto Semiconductors were able to successfully produce gallium nitride LED chips on a silicon substrate instead of the much more expensive sapphire backing.
Silicon is a standard material in the semiconductor industry and is therefore an inexpensive and easily obtainable alternative. This development goes a long way toward making it possible for Osram to produce LED components at a much lower cost while maintaining the same level of quality and performance.
LEDs are an efficient and, above all, energy-conserving alternative to traditional types of room lighting. However, until now the manufacturing costs for LEDs have been higher than those of other more established types of lighting, so they have not been widely adopted for everyday use.
Using this new procedure, it should be possible to use large sheets of silicon for LED production, which would result in a major improvement of manufacturing efficiency. Osram has already succeeded in producing high-performance LED chips on a 150-millimeter (six-inch) wafer. Theoretically, one such wafer would be sufficient to produce 17,000 LED chips of one square millimeter each.
Researchers are already working on the adjustment of the production process to handle eight-inch wafers. This would increase the number of chips per substrate, thereby further reducing the cost of production. The first commercially available LED products using silicon-based chips are expected to be on the market in about two years.
These new thin-film-based LEDs are still only at the pilot stage and will have to be tested under real-world conditions. The blue and white silicon-based prototypes display performance characteristics that are on a par with the LEDs available on the market today. A blue chip measuring one square millimeter in a standard housing delivers a record brightness of 634 milliwatts at 3.15 volts. That's an efficiency rate of 58 percent. Those are excellent results for a chip of that size at a current of 350 milliamperes.
The development of these new manufacturing technologies is based on the specialized knowledge regarding the growth of artificial crystals that has been gathered by the researchers at Osram Opto Semiconductors.
The major breakthrough was a special epitaxy process which made it possible to slice off particularly stable silicon films without the cracking that has often been a problem in the past. At the same time, these silicon films are also comparable to sapphire backing with regard to the LEDs' brightness and stability.
Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
Open, flexible assembly platform for optical systems
24.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT
A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine