IQE, the Cardiff-based supplier of semiconductor wafers, is to acquire NanoGaN in a deal that could be worth up to £3.6m, depending upon how the commercialisation of NanoGaN’s intellectual property pans out.
Bath University spin out NanoGaN has established a range of unique processes and key intellectual property relating to the production of gallium nitride (GaN) materials and devices.
This includes a proprietary technology for producing free-standing gallium nitride substrates, which are critical for manufacturing blue and green semiconductor lasers and ultra-high brightness LEDs for solid-state lighting (SSL).
The company’s nanocolumn technology is based on the use of nanocolumns of GaN, which are first grown onto a substrate or fabricated onto it by dry and wet etching. Then, thick III-V nitrides can be grown by HVPE using the nanocolumns as the compliant layer to decouple any lattice mismatch and thermal expansion coefficient mismatch between the two.
The development of NanoGaN’s proprietary technology is at an advanced stage, and IQE will assist the company to complete the development of commercial products, after which it will transfer them to its high-volume production line.
As part of the deal, Prof Wang, chief executive of NanoGaN and inventor of the nanocolumn technology, will become chief scientific advisor to IQE. Prof Wang was previously the co-founder of Arima Optoelectronics Corporation, an optoelectronics company listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.