BluGlass awarded $5m in government funding

A company that hopes to commercialize a low-cost process for the production of gallium nitride LED wafers has received Australian government backing.

BluGlass Ltd, an Australian company that is developing a low-cost method of manufacturing gallium nitride (GaN) wafers, has been awarded up to $5m of Commonwealth Government funding over three years to assist the commercialization of its technology. BluGlass will match the grant with its own expenditure.

The company, based in Sydney, New South Wales, has secured the funding under the AusIndustry "Commercial Ready Grant" scheme. This is the Australian government’s flagship innovation program to assist local firms to develop pioneering products, processes and services.

BluGlass evolved from 10 years of research was at Sydney’s Macquarie University, and was listed on the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange) in September 2006.

The company says that its process for producing GaN wafers (which can then be fabricated into blue and green LED chips) offers competitive advantages over current commercial processes. The BluGlass remote plasma CVD process runs at much lower temperatures than used currently, and does not use ammonia.

The company's aim is to commercialize the process on large-area substrates such as glass or silicon, which are considerably less expensive than sapphire or silicon carbide. Independent analysis indicated that the technology could achieve GaN cost savings of more than 48% at the wafer level and 10% at the LED device level compared with production systems in current use.

In a recent presentation to investors, CEO David Jordan said that BluGlass was meeting all key IPO milestones for the commercialization of its GaN technology, including the development of its manufacturing demonstration plant in Silverwater, Sydney and commercial reactor development with EMF Semiconductor Systems in Ireland.

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