Australian technology innovator, BluGlass is working with Griffith University and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) to deliver next generation GaN transistors for power electronics.
BluGlass will be leading the two-year, $600,000 cash investment (inclusive of a $300,000 grant from the IMCRC) research project to develop High Performance Normally OFF GaN HEMTs, that promise a positive and stable threshold voltage, low on-resistance and high breakdown field.
The project aims to combines two Australian enabling technologies – BluGlass’ deposition technology called Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (RPCVD) a low temperature approach for the manufacture of semiconductor materials and Griffith University’s Queensland Microtechnology Facility (QMF) Atomically Smooth SiC on large silicon wafers.
“Today, electronics manufacturers face high cost barriers for higher performing materials,” said BluGlass managing director Giles Bourne. “The research project aims to overcome those industry challenges.”
“Silicon is incredibly cheap and traditionally difficult to displace despite the performance advantages of other materials such as GaN. BluGlass’ deposition technology, RPCVD operates at temperatures hundreds of degrees cooler than the current industry incumbent technology. This offers electronics manufacturers many advantages, including higher performance, lower cost throughputs and the ability to deposit on lower cost substrate such as silicon.”
Bourne also stated that the ability to produce fail-safe, normally OFF devices will be critical for widespread adoption of GaN transistors.
“Our unique low temperature deposition of the p-GaN gate is required to enable high performance normally OFF devices, and this has significant commercial implications, not only for BluGlass but for the Australian power electronics industry.”
Griffith University’s QMF atomically smooth SiC on large Si wafers provides a chemical barrier and template for the epitaxial growth of nitride layers that helps to address the challenges of defects and long-term device reliability.
Senior deputy vice chancellor Ned Pankhurst said the funding showed Griffith University’s expertise in the nanotechnology field and its reputation as international leaders in the industry.“Griffith welcomes this innovative partnership which highlights the university’s commitment to advancing technology through industry collaborations, further establishing us as world-leaders in cutting-edge technology and translational research,” he said.
Throughout the project, which is co-funded by IMCRC (a not-for-profit, independent cooperative research centre), BluGlass will work closely with Griffith University’s QMF and access their process and test equipment, infrastructure, device knowledge and resources to develop and optimise HEMT devices. IMCRC managing director and CEO David Chuter said that this project has the potential of creating high value IP and industry transformative enabling foundry technologies which could lead to the generation of a local semiconductor wafer economy. “This project leads the way for power electronics manufacturing. Addressing industry challenges and combining key enabling technologies, we believe this project can boost the commercial value of the sector, and create new opportunities, in Australia and into global value chains.”