Nitride Solutions raises $1.8 million to produce AlN substrates

A developer of aluminum nitride substrates, Nitride Solutions, will use $1.8 million in financing to optimize its substrate manufacturing technology and begin manufacturing and sales this year.

Nitride Solutions (Wichita, KS) has secured $1.8 million in financing commitments to develop aluminum nitride (AlN) substrates for the manufacture of UV LEDs, lasers and power electronics.

The company has secured the financing from Nebraska Angels (Lincoln, NE) and Aurora UV (Santa Barbara, CA), firms that join Mid-America Angels (Lenexa, KS) and Manhattan Holdings (Manhattan, KS) in the round.

For the epitaxial growth of GaN-based devices, AlN substrates are designed to provide a superior alternative to grown AlN layers on sapphire substrates. AlN substrates offer the advantage of reduced threading dislocation density in the active region of the fabricated device, which affects external quantum efficiency.

Nitride Solutions is developing a high-volume, low-cost manufacturing process to fabricate AlN substrates with projected defect rates ten times lower than currently available substrates.

One specific use of AlN substrates is to grow UV-emitting LEDs, which may find broad use.

Manufacturing to begin this year

Nitride Solutions will use the funding to optimize the technology, and says it will begin manufacturing and sales in late 2011. "The number of biomedical and industrial applications of LED technology is rapidly growing," said Karen Linder, co-deal lead for Nebraska Angels. "Nitride Solutions' novel method of creating substrates on which these crystals can be grown will change the market."

Muriel Taylor, president and CEO of Aurora UV added, "We expect to benefit with both high financial rewards and the satisfaction that we will have been part of the effort of applying hard science to alleviating some of the world's most vexing problems, including cheap access to pure water."

Nitride Solutions is still seeking a small group of financial and strategic investors to finalize the round, which will stay open until September.

Founded in 2009, Nitride Solutions maintains strong ties to Kansas State University in Manhattan, with key employees and advisors hailing from the university. President and CEO Jeremy Jones was named Kansas Pipeline 2010 Innovator of the Year for his work at Nitride Solutions.

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