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GaN Substrate Technology

Kyma Technologies
Transformational GaN Substrate Technology
ARPA-E Award: 
Raleigh, NC
Project Term: 
03/10/2014 to 03/09/2018
Project Status: 
Technical Categories: 
Critical Need: 
Power semiconductor devices are critical to America's energy infrastructure-all electronics, from laptops to electric motors, rely on them to control or convert electrical energy in order to operate properly. Unfortunately, the performance and efficiency of today's dominant power semiconductor device material, Silicon, suffer at higher power levels and higher temperature. This results in substantial loss of efficiency across our energy infrastructure. Innovative new semiconductor materials, device architectures, and fabrication processes promise to improve the performance and efficiency of existing electronic devices and to pave the way for next-generation power electronics.
Project Innovation + Advantages: 
Kyma will develop a cost-effective technique to grow high-quality gallium nitride (GaN) seeds into GaN crystal boules, which are used as the starting material for a number of semiconductor devices. Currently, growing boules from GaN seeds is a slow, expensive, and inconsistent process, so it yields expensive electronic devices of varying quality. Kyma will select the highest quality GaN seeds and use a proprietary hydride vapor phase epitaxy growth process to rapidly grow the seeds into boules while preserving the seed's structural quality and improving its purity.
Potential Impact: 
If successful, Kyma Technologies will produce low-cost, high-performing boules for use in a variety of high-power electronics applications, including power inverters and converters.
Advances in power electronics could facilitate greater adoption of electric vehicles, which in turn could help reduce U.S. oil imports.
More efficient power electronics systems promise reduced electricity consumption, resulting in fewer harmful energy-related emissions.
More efficient power electronics would use less energy, saving American families and business owners money on their power bills.
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Isik Kizilyalli
Project Contact: 
Dr. Jacob Leach
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Release Date: