AkzoNobel expands capacity for LED materials

The company will boost its output of key metalorganic chemicals that are used in the deposition of LED semiconductor materials.

AkzoNobel has announced plans to boost capacity at one of its US sites in order to meet increasing demand for metalorganic (MO) compounds that are used in the production of LEDs.

The investment, which is described as being at the “multi-million” dollar level, will be made at the company’s Battleground facility in Texas. AkzoNobel is a global chemical company with headquarters in the Netherlands.

The company plans to extend its trimethyl aluminum (TMA) unit, as well as building a new trimethyl gallium (TMG) plant. This will, says AkzoNobel, “consolidate the plant’s status as the largest of its kind in the world.”

TMA and TMG are used as the source materials for aluminum and gallium, respectively, in the epitaxial growth of LED materials via metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD).

The expanded TMA unit is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2013, while the new TMG plant will be ready in August 2014.

“The LED industry has been experiencing strong growth, well in excess of 20 percent per annum,” explained Werner Fuhrmann, AkzoNobel’s executive committee member responsible for specialty chemicals. “This investment will make production more cost-efficient and ensure that we continue supplying our customers with a highly specialized product which is playing an increasingly important role in 21st century technology.”

AkzoNobel was one of a number of large MO suppliers that increased their production capacity in the 2010-2011 period.

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