Stanley Electric Co., will acquire shares of the U.S. company HexaTech, and make it a subsidiary. HexaTech, conducts the development, manufacturing and sales of aluminum nitride (AℓN) semiconductor substrates, a key component for deep ultraviolet LEDs with one of the highest sterilization-levels in the world, at a wavelength of 265 nm.
HexaTech, with its edge technology has achieved grain free (defect free), large diameter growth of the aluminum nitride crystals that are used for the substrates of these LEDs. Stanley has already achieved an output power of 50 mW and the acquisition of HexaTech, will make it possible to achieve 200 mW in the near future, which will enable Stanley to secure an even more superior position in the sterilization market.
The increase in population and economic activity is currently worsening the problems of water shortages, water contamination and atmospheric pollution on a global scale. In the market for ultraviolet sterilization, the global scale for deep ultraviolet mercury lamps alone is expected to reach around 160 billion yen in 2020. Furthermore, the “Minamata Convention on Mercury” that came into effect in 2017 prohibits the manufacturing, exporting and importing of products containing mercury from 2020. Mercury lamps for sterilization are temporarily exempted from these regulations as there is “no alternative light source,” but as deep ultraviolet LEDs spread, it is expected that the shift to LEDs will be accelerated.
The acquisition of HexaTech, will make it possible for Stanley to realize a supply system for AℓN semiconductor substrates, and by utilizing the packaging technology and reactor design expertise it already has, will be able to accelerate its development and mass production of deep ultraviolet LEDs. Stanley will aim to launch new products into the sterilization market as quickly as possible and to reach sales exceeding 50 billion yen in the sector by 2025.
In addition to this, Stanley expects that AℓN semiconductor substrates will be used as substrates for transistors in communications and power applications in the future, to further growth in demand.
From now on, Stanley will promote the utilization and development of these products in various areas. This will of course include the sterilization (water, surface and air sterilization) area where the company is already selling cold cathode tube (CCL) type ultraviolet light sources, in addition to areas such as medical care (DNA analysis), industry (ink resin hardening) and measurement and analysis tools (various sensors such as water quality sensors and foreign particle detectors), and Stanley will work to strengthen and expand its Electronic Components Business and Applied Electronic Products Business
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