LED Fabrication News: Linde, Kaistar, Aixtron, Aucksun Opto, SAFC Hitech, GT Advanced

Linde has secured a gas-supply agreement with Kaistar, Aixtron has opened a training center in Suzhou and sold 5 MOCVD systems, SAFC has expanded precursor production in Taiwan and GT has announced a $12M order for sapphire wafers.

Linde supplies critical gases to Kaistar

Linde LienHwa (LLH) China, a joint venture between the Linde Group and the LienHwa MiTAC Group of Taiwan, has announced an exclusive gas supply agreement with Kaistar. Kaistar, a joint venture involving Epistar Taiwan and China Electronics Corporation (CEC), has been guaranteed a secure supply of ultrahigh-purity ammonia as well as bulk gases to Kaistar’s new production facility in Xiamen, China.

Ultrahigh-purity ammonia is used in LED fabrication. Linde’s ammonia purification plant produces the gas at the 7N (99.99999 percent) level, which has an initial capacity of 500 tonnes per year.

Kaistar has been in the news lately for its partnership with Bridgelux. Kaistar made a $25 million investment in Bridgelux in February to further its development and manufacturing of LEDs for general-purpose lighting.

Aixtron opens Suzhou training center, secures five-system order

Aixtron, the Aachen, Germany-based maker of MOCVD systems has opened a new training and demonstration center at SINANO, the Suzhou Institute for Nanotechnology and Nanobionics in Suzhou, China. In attendance at the grand opening was a representative of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the German Consul General in China, many of Aixtron's key customers and numerous academic partners from different regions of China.

The center, located at the Suzhou Industrial Park in the Yangtze River Delta, will provide MOCVD training, drawing on the collaborative synergies between industrial and institutional research in Suzhou. The cooperative agreement with SINANO will facilitate the full process and characterization of LEDs, the technical properties of which are essential to lighting product quality.

In an announcement a few days earlier, Aixtron stated it had received a new MOCVD system order from Huaian Aucksun Optoelectronics Technology Ltd (Aucksun Opto), China. A new customer to Aixtron, Aucksun Opto has signed a contract for five Aixtron multiwafer MOCVD systems that will be used to grow LED epilayers.

The order for two Model AIX 2600G3 IC reactors, both in a 49x2-inch wafer configuration, and three Model AIX2800G4 reactors, each in a 60x2-inch wafer configuration, was placed in the first quarter of 2012. One of Aixtron´s local support teams will install and commission the new reactors in Aucksun Opto’s state-of-the-art cleanrooms in Huaian, China in the second quarter of 2012.

SAFC Hitech expands gallium and indium precursor capacity in Taiwan

SAFC Hitech, a supplier of specialty chemicals based in St. Louis, MO, announced that it has opened a new multi-million US dollar facility in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The 270,000-square-foot expansion significantly increases the site's capacity to manufacture high-quality trimethylgallium (TMG), triethylgallium (TEG) and trimethylindium (TMI) precursors for LED applications.

SAFC Hitech's existing Taiwan operations will transition to the new Kaohsiung facility. Philip Rose, SAFC Hitech president commented, "One of SAFC Hitech's key objectives is to continue to provide leading materials technology solutions to drive functional performance in end-use devices in the high growth markets we serve -- for now and in the future. Following the March 2010 production expansion for TMG at our Bromborough, UK manufacturing site, this strategic investment in Taiwan will continue to strengthen our position as a leading global supplier of reliable precursors for the HBLED market."

GT secures $12 million order from Zhejiang Shangcheng Science & Technology

Merrimack, NH-based GT Advanced Technologies, formerly known as GT Solar, has stated it has received a $12.6 million follow-on order from Zhejiang Shangcheng Science & Technology Company (Shangcheng) for additional sapphire growth furnaces. Shangcheng produces different types of sapphire ingots and wafers used in the production of LEDs.

Shangcheng has stated that it has set up a $95 million sapphire substrate production line with a capacity of 6 million units using systems from GT Advanced Technologies. “(The) successful start-up of our new sapphire production plant ... is demonstrated by the fact that we have already qualified our material by some top LED manufacturers at two-, four- and six-inch diameters,” said Yuncai Wu, general manager of Zhejiang Shangcheng Science & Technology Co.

More in Assembly & Contract Manufacturing