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Vertical GaN Substrates

SixPoint Materials
ARPA-E Award: 
Buellton, CA
Project Term: 
03/10/2014 to 03/09/2020
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: 
SixPoint Materials will create low-cost, high-quality vertical gallium nitride (GaN) substrates for use in high-power electronic devices. In its two-phase project, SixPoint Materials will first focus on developing a high-quality GaN substrate and then on expanding the substrate's size. Substrates are thin wafers of semiconducting material used to power devices like transistors and integrated circuits. SixPoint Materials will use a two-phase production approach that employs both hydride vapor phase epitaxy technology and ammonothermal growth techniques to create its high-quality, low-cost GaN substrates.
Potential Impact: 
If successful, SixPoint Materials will enable the production of low-cost, high-power GaN devices that are significantly more efficient at converting power for electric motors, electric vehicles, and power grid applications than today's state-of-the-art silicon devices.
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. Tadao Hashimoto
Cornell University
University of Notre Dame
Release Date: