NCKU signs collaborative agreement with Taiwan Nitride Material Inc.

Oct. 20, 2009
Date Announced: 20 Oct 2009 TAINAN, Taiwan -- Prof. Hwung-Hweng Hwung, the Senior Executive Vice President of National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) - Taiwan, on behalf of NCKU, signed a joint venture agreement with a privately owned Taiwan Nitride Material Inc. led by its chairman Mr. H.H. Chang, for the production of aluminum nitride (AlN). Both parties agreed to invest a total of NT$ 30 million (US$ 932,000) for researchand development of AlN, a semiconductor material widely used for heat radiation and insulation in microelectronics and optoelectronics. NCKU will have a share right of 18% resulting from technique transfer and expects to have a revenue of at least NT$ 100 million (US$ 3.1 million) over the next ten years. The AlN production technique was developed by Prof. Shyan-Lung Chung of the NCKU Department of Chemical Engineering under the support from National Science Council (NSC) with an umbrella project, "A Study of Interdisciplinary Platform for New Technology Commercialization,Academic-Enterprise Collaboration, and Entrepreneurship", supervised by theprincipal investigator - NCKU SEVP Hwung-Hweng Hwung. This agreement is thefirst joint venture in aluminum nitride production in Taiwan and certainlycreated a new way of the commercialization in the cross field of newtechnologies. The academia-industry collaboration is essential to promote industrialdevelopment and innovation of our society. However, most universities in Taiwanemphasized the mode of academia-industry collaboration in technology transfer inthe past few years, which often leads to a failure since no continuous R&Dcreation has been put in from university. However, the new mode ofacademia-industry collaboration has been reflected on the NSC-sponsored project,"A Study of Interdisciplinary Platform for New Technology Commercialization,Academic-Enterprise Collaboration, and Entrepreneurship", led by NCKU SEVPHwung. This new mode is to establish technical, marketing, producing andfinancial analysis actively, to recruit the employees with competence and toraise enough capital to realize creative and technical commercialization. Thatis, academia and industry will be close partners even after signing theagreement and finishing technology transfer. Prof. Hwung also expects to makepublic announcement soon on another joint venture, under this project, inproduction of aquaculture oral bacterial vaccine formulations and copperresources recycling industry for the next 6 months. "I have a wish. I hope to develop a product at my homeland to strengthen theinternational competitiveness of local industry of my homeland. Now it is thetime for our earth with an emphasis in energy conservation and less carbonemission. Light emitting diode (LED) provides a right solution to it. That is,LED lighting is replacing iridescent bulbs. However, the life of LED is still ofgrave concern resulted from overheating of the device. I really appreciated theeffort done by Prof. Shyan-Lung Chung on development of AlN products that couldsolve this problem," said Mr. Chang, chairman of Taiwan Nitride Material Inc. "In addition, Taiwan is known for its volume production of LED. The coverage andluminescence intensity in LED lighting is increasing, and backlight modules forLCD displays, made by LED, is prevailing. Moreover, AlN just solved the problemin heat dissipation, frequently encountered in LED devices and the main cause offailure to such devices, especially in lighting and large-size TV with higherenergy efficiency and less carbon emission. It also helps enhance thecompetitive advantage of Taiwan's high-power LED lighting, such as street lampsand backlight module industry. I hope this is a beginning for us as becomingNCKU`s strategic partners, and there will be more collaborative opportunitieswith each other in the future," said Mr. Chang, chairman of Taiwan NitrideMaterial Inc. Prof. SL Chung from NCKU Chemical Engineering Department has been dedicated toresearches on AlN for so many years. Prof. Chung has developed differenttechniques, for example, sintering and composite materials, in efficientproduction of AlN. There have been a number of manufacturers in closecooperation with Prof. Chung`s laboratory in order to develop or to commissiontest in AlN downstream products. AlN products are becoming more and morepopular, as its production cost is reduced with these innovative inventions byProf. SL Chung. Even more, these innovative inventions have been protected undervarious issued patents and expect to generate high revenue. It is worth to say that this cooperation project in the case ofcross-cooperation model for the first time from technology development,technology transfer to technology commercialization, and mass production is doneby the same research team. It can promote the continuous technologicaldevelopment and continuous mass production and product testing by thenewly-established company to shorten the technology development schedule, butalso to ensure that technology development is suitable for the demand ofbusiness industry and customers. About the project: A Study of Interdisciplinary Platform for New TechnologyCommercialization, Academic-Enterprise Collaboration, and Entrepreneurship The main objective of this project, "A Study of Interdisciplinary Platform forNew Technology Commercialization, Academic-Enterprise Collaboration, andEntrepreneurship", led by NCKU SEVP Hwung is to integrate the related sources ofacademia-industry, including the NCKU Research and Service Headquarter (RSH) andthe NCKU Technology Licensing and Business Incubation Center (TLBIC). They alsointegrated six innovative sub-projects to cooperate with industry actively andto drive incubation of novel invention, to give balance of capital andinnovative group planning and to establish a new company to realize thecommercialization of creative technology. These six project are "aquacultureoral bacterial vaccine formulations research sub-research project", "healthdevelopment of Chinese herbal medicine research project", "copper loop resourceindustries sub-research project", "biosurfactant products sub-research project","aluminum nitride production and development of innovative technologiessub-research project" and "aluminum nitride electrical substrates metallizationsub-research project". Innovative technological commercialization platform is aimed to establish a newcompany from technological development to innovative incubation as a series ofservice differed from the past academic innovation which is follow-up theindustry market development and operational management by technology transfer.However, it is easy to break down the project due to technical fail-embracing inpromoting the process of convergence. The technological value evaluation of innovative technologies in sub-projects of"A Study of Interdisciplinary Platform for New Technology Commercialization,Academic-Enterprise Collaboration, and Entrepreneurship" will come with arelevant market demand, marketing and manufacturing feasibility and cost-benefitassessment. They will invite manufacturers to participate closely, to sendtechnical members with the evaluation of various innovative technologies in theprocess developmental feasibility and the technology in mass production of theprototype development. They will set up an academia-industry collaborativeplatform after technology development is mature; and then plan the managementteam together, develop investment feasibility operating projects, raise funds,and build up the factories and technology commercialization. About Aluminum nitride (AlN) Aluminum nitride (AlN) is a nitride of aluminum. Its wurtzite phase (w-AlN) is awide band gap (6.2 eV) semiconductor material, giving it potential applicationfor deep ultraviolet optoelectronics. AlN was first synthesized in 1877 but itwas not until the mid 1980s that its potential for application inmicroelectronics spurred development of high quality commercially viablematerial. AlN is synthesized by carbothermal reduction of alumina or by direct nitridationof aluminum. It has a density of 3.26 g/cm3 and although it does not melt, itdissociates above 2500°C at atmospheric pressure. The material is covalentlybonded and is resistant to sintering without the assistance of liquid formingadditives. Typically oxides such as Y2O3 or CaO allow sintering to be achievedat temperatures between 1600 ~ 1900°C. Aluminum nitride is stable at high temperatures in inert atmospheres and meltsat 2800 °C. In a vacuum, AlN decomposes at ca. 1800 °C. In the air, surfaceoxidation occurs above 700°C, and even at room temperature, surface oxide layersof 5 ~ 10 nm have been detected. This oxide layer protects the material up to1370°C. Above this temperature bulk oxidation occurs. Aluminum nitride is stablein hydrogen and carbon dioxide atmospheres up to 980°C. The material dissolves slowly in mineral acids through grain boundary attack,and in strong alkalies through attack on the aluminum nitride grains. Thematerial hydrolyzes slowly in water. Aluminum nitride is resistant to attackfrom most molten salts, including chlorides and cryolite. AlN is synthesized by the carbothermal reduction of alumina or by directnitridation of aluminum. The use of sintering aids and hot pressing is requiredto produce a dense technical grade material. Metallization methods are availableto allow AlN to be used in electronics applications similar to those of aluminaand BeO. Currently there is much research into developing light-emitting diodes tooperate in the ultraviolet using the gallium nitride based semiconductors and,using the alloy aluminum gallium nitride, wavelengths as short as 250 nm havebeen achieved. In May 2006 an inefficient AlN LED emission at 210 nm wasreported. Among the applications of AlN are opto-electronics, dielectric layers in opticalstorage media, electronic substrates, and chip carriers where high thermalconductivity is essential, military applications, as a crucible to grow crystalsof gallium arsenide, steel and semiconductor manufacturing. Epitaxially grown thin film crystalline aluminum nitride is also used forsurface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors deposited on silicon wafers because of theAlN's piezoelectric properties. One application is an RF filter used in mobilephones called a thin film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR). This is a MEMS devicethat uses aluminum nitride sandwiched between two metal layers. The most remarkable property exhibited by AlN is its high thermal conductivity -in ceramic materials second only to beryllia. At moderate temperatures (circa200°C) its thermal conductivity exceeds that of copper. This high conductivitycoupled with high volume resistivity and dielectric strength leads to itsapplication as substrates and packaging for high power or high-densityassemblies of microelectronic components. One of the controlling factors whichlimit the density of packing of electronic components is the need to dissipateheat arising from ohmic losses and maintain the components within theiroperating temperature range. Substrates made from AlN provide more efficientcooling than conventional and other ceramic substrates, hence their use as chipcarriers and heat sinks. About National Cheng Kung University (NCKU): NCKU is located in the ancient city of Tainan, the historical and ancientcultural capital city of Taiwan, which boasts more than 50 national relicssanctioned by the government and is approximately 250 kilometers south ofTaipei. It is connected to all major cities in Taiwan by the recently initiatedstate-of-the-art Taiwan High Speed Rail. Further, this historical heritage isthe pride of Tainan City and represents a rich cultural resource to NCKU. Thetechnological sectors in the Southern Taiwan Science Park offer students at NCKUwith a stage to apply what they have learned into practice. With three quarters of a century of distinguished history, with well over130,000 powerful alumni now dotting the globe, many have achieved supremesuccesses in arts, business, education, science, technology and healthcare andare ready and willing to assist, with 22,000 academic selective students and1200 academically significant faculty members currently, both have healthydosage of international flavor, with enormous regional support, and with apermeating culture of proactive intellectual growth on the world`s stage, NCKUin Tainan, Taiwan, has evolved from its engineering genesis to become a powerfulcomprehensive, research and international university in Asia Pacific. Since NCKU`s establishment in 1931, it has developed into a research intensiveand comprehensive university with integrated academic fields in nine colleges:Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science,Planning & Design, Management, Social Sciences, Medicine, and Bioscience &Biotechnology. NCKU currently offers 40 undergraduate programs (excludingProgram of Bachelor`s Degree), 78 master`s degree programs, 54 doctoral programsand 20 master`s degree programs for working professionals.

NCKU Press Officer Julia (Ying-Chen) Liu, +886-6-275-7575 ext. 50042

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