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Light Emitting Diodes (LED) & Wide Band Gap Materials

Over the last twenty years, LED lighting has found its way out of the laboratory and into industry, streets and homes. High energy consuming filament light bulbs have disappeared from most industrialized countries as the quest for more, cheaper energy grows. The Light Emitting Diode (LED) has played a huge role in the emergence of a new lighting industry as it consumes a fraction of the energy used by a traditional light bulb.

LEDs are fabricated on wafers of Sapphire, Silicon Carbide or Gallium Nitride. These crystalline materials are grown in furnaces, ground cylindrically into "logs", wire sawn with diamond into wafers and then ground, lapped, polished and chemo-mechanically polished/planarized. An epi-ready finish (an atomically fine surface) has to be generated on the wafers and is necessary so that a film of Gallium Nitride can be deposited. Only after the critical processes of wafer finishing, cleaning and film deposition are completed can the LED devices be fabricated.

Wide Band Gap Semiconductors (WBGS), LED, Power & Radio Frequency (RF) Devices

Wide-bandgap semiconductors are materials that permit the operation of devices at much higher voltages, frequencies and temperatures than conventional semiconductors such as silicon and gallium arsenide. WBGS are key in the manufacture of green/blue LEDs and lasers, radio frequency (RF) military radars and have a promising future in next generation semiconductor devices.

Important WBGS:

Compound Type Application
Aluminum Nitride Military applications/RF signal processing/UV LED
Silicon Carbide High power/temperature applications
Gallium Nitride High power/temperature applications/blue LED & laser
Boron Nitride (h-BN & c-BN) Military & space programs

Chemetall Precision Microchemicals develops and manufactures a range of machining fluids, abrasive slurries, chemo-mechanical polishing (CMP — abrasive and abrasive-free) slurries and cleaners to address all key stages in the fabrication of WBGS ingots, substrates and discreet device production:

  • Ingot Shaping/Grinding — Coolants
  • Diamond Wire Saw — Diamond Powders, Coolants & Abrasive Suspension Vehicles
  • Lapping — Diamond Slurries, Alumina Slurries, Boron Carbide Slurries, Silicon Carbide Slurries
  • Polishing/CMP — Diamond Slurries, Alumina Slurries, Colloidal Silica Slurries, Polishing Pads
  • Wafer Backgrind/Backlap/Backpolish/Thin — Coolants, Diamond Slurries, Alumina Slurries, Boron Carbide Slurries, Silicon Carbide Slurries, Colloidal Silica Slurries, Polishing Pads
  • Wafer Dicing/Singulation Coolants
  • In & Post Process — Cleaners


Wafer engineers, R&D and production staff are encouraged to contact Chemetall Precision Microchemicals for detailed technical information.

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