MOCVD vendors eye new apps

VCSELs, mini/microLEDs, power and RF devices point to another boom for this technology.

Written by Mark Lapedus for Semiconductor Engineering | Several equipment makers are developing or ramping up new metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) systems in the market, hoping to capture the next wave of growth applications in the arena.

Competition is fierce among the various MOCVD equipment suppliers in the market, namely Aixtron, AMEC and Veeco. In addition, MOCVD equipment suppliers are looking for renewed growth in 2020, but business conditions remain cloudy.

MOCVD is one of the key systems used to manufacture lasers, LEDs, optoelectronic components, power/RF devices and solar cells. The technology has been in the market for several years. Basically, an MOCVD system deposits thin single crystal layers on the surface of a device. MOCVD is generally used to deposit III-V compound semiconductor materials, such as indium phosphide (InP), gallium arsenide (GaAs) and gallium nitride (GaN), on devices.

The biggest market for MOCVD has been LEDs, but that segment has been in a slump. So vendors are focusing their efforts on other markets. “For example, you have the VCSEL boom for facial ID,” said Ronald Arif, senior manager of product marketing at Veeco. “Right now, we are looking at potentially another big boom. This is mainly for miniLEDs and microLEDs.”

Targeted for next-generation displays, both microLEDs and miniLEDs are smaller versions of today’s light-emitting diodes (LEDs). All LEDs convert electrical energy into light. Meanwhile, vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) enables the facial recognition features in smartphones. Facial recognition detects the owner of a phone and unlocks it. In addition, MOCVD is also enabling GaN-based RF and power semiconductor devices… Full story


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