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Kubos and CSC develop LED technologies

31 October 2019

LED light painting

A partnership between Cardiff’s Compound Semiconductor Centre and Cambridge-based company Kubos Semiconductors has been forged to improve the efficiency of green LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).

The alliance aims to develop numerous Light Emitting Diode (LED) applications - including lightbulbs that can mimic natural changes in daylight and micro-LED displays for wearable technologies, such as televisions, virtual reality headsets and smart watches.

The organisations have signed an agreement to commercialise the manufacture of LEDs using cubic Gallium Nitride (GaN) - rather than traditional hexagonal Gallium Nitride (GaN).

Licensees of the technology will be able to create cheaper, more efficient LEDs with improved electronic properties for use in a wide range of electronic devices.

The partnership brings benefits to Kubos by allowing the company to accelerate the development of patented technologies on reactors at CSC’s St Mellons facility in Cardiff, whilst CSC benefits from future device manufacturing growth as the project progresses.

CSC was formed in August 2015 as a joint venture between IQE plc, the world leading supplier of advanced compound semiconductor wafer products, and Cardiff University.

Kubos’s proprietary cubic Gallium Nitride growth technology has the potential to circumvent limitations in conventional GaN based LED devices to deliver more efficient green and amber LEDs.

Dr Wyn Meredith, CSC Director, said: “The technology is hugely exciting for manufacturers of LED technologies. We hope the collaboration will help Kubos enable next generation LED displays and other LED applications. CSC helps accelerate new semiconductor materials technologies to market by supporting an ecosystem where academic researchers work in an industrially relevant environment. By working with us, Kubos can leverage the significant capital investment required to commercialise new materials technologies. The cost and risk of commercialisation is reduced - with the added benefit of working with a wide range of relevant capability and partners in the CSconnected cluster in South Wales’.

The collaboration involves CSC, Kubos, IQE and Cambridge University.

Caroline O’Brien, CEO of Kubos said, “CSC is an ideal partner for Kubos as it supports our fabless business model and assists with the tight control of R&D costs. As our technology matures it will also mean that we have an established relationship with a partner who can support the move to high yield, high volume processes that is required for a commercially viable LED technology.”

Professor David Wallis, Technical Director at Kubos said: “Kubos’ cubic GaN technology has the potential to overcome some of the limitations of current LED technologies. Working with CSC allows Kubos to accelerate the commercial exploitation of this exciting material.”

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