Business News | Jan 20, 2011

Dow Corning Joins the imec GaN Affiliation Program

Dow Corning has formalized an agreement to enter the imec multi-partner industrial R&D program on GaN semiconductor materials and device technologies. The program focuses on the development of the next generation GaN power devices and LEDs. The collaboration between Dow Corning and imec will concentrate on bringing the GaN epi-technology on silicon wafers to a manufacturing scale.

Due to the combination of superior electron mobility, higher breakdown voltage and good thermal conductivity properties, GaN/AIGaN heterostructures offer a high switching efficiency for the next generation power and RF devices compared to the current devices based on silicon (Si). A process for high quality GaN epi-layers on Si substrates is key in obtaining superior power & RF devices. Accurate control of the epi-growth process to master substrate bow, epi-layer defectivity and uniformity while maintaining high epi-reactor throughput are needed to reduce the overall technology cost. Imec has pioneered GaN epi-growth on sapphire, SiC and Si substrates from 2 to 6 inch substrate sizes and currently focuses on developing GaN epi-layers on 8 inch Si substrates. Leveraging the economics of scale and compatibility with high throughput and high capacity 8 inch Si wafer based process technology will further reduce the cost of GaN devices and LEDs.

As a leading producer of SiC wafers and epitaxy, Dow Corning is leveraging its capability in electronic materials technology and quality supply to bring next generation materials technology to global device manufacturers. We work closely with our customers to develop innovative solutions throughout the value chain. “By joining the imec GaN Affiliation Program, Dow Corning will rapidly expand its substrate product portfolio with high quality and affordable GaN epi-wafers for power, RF and LED markets” says Tom Zoes, Global Director, Dow Corning Compound Semiconductor Solutions.

Dow Corning is also the majority shareholder in the Hemlock Semiconductor Group joint ventures which is a leading provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices and solar cells and modules.

“We are delighted to welcome Dow Corning as a partner in our GaN Affiliation Program. Teaming up with imec’s epitaxy and device researchers within our multi-partner environment creates a strong momentum to bring this technology to market,” says Rudi Cartuyvels, Vice President Process Technology at imec.

About imec:
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1,750 people includes over 550 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2009, imec's revenue (P&L) was 275 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at http://www.imec.be/.

Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shangai) Co. Ltd.).

About Dow Corning:
Dow Corning provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company’s Dow Corning® and XIAMETER® brands. Formed in 1943 to explore and develop the potential of silicones, Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States. Dow Corning’s global operations adhere to the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® initiative.

About Hemlock Semiconductor Group:
The Hemlock Semiconductor Group (www.hscpoly.com) – Hemlock Semiconductor – is comprised of two joint ventures: Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C. The companies are joint ventures of Dow Corning Corporation, Shin-Etsu Handotai and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation. Hemlock Semiconductor is a leading provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices and solar cells and modules. Hemlock Semiconductor began its Michigan operations in 1961 and broke ground at its Tennessee location in 2009.

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