Soft-Epi To Ship GaN Red Epi Wafers For Micro LEDs[May.2022]

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Soft-Epi, a South Korean company that specialises in GaN-based epitaxial growth using MOCVD, has announced that it is shipping GaN red epi wafers for micro LEDs.

The company says its breakthrough technology can mass-produce red LEDs using existing MOCVD without additional equipment investment.

Micro LEDs are considered a key technology for the metaverse platform for enabling next-generation displays for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mobile phones, and smart watches.

To make these displays with micro LEDs, existing AlGaInP red LED technology has been used. However, AlGaInP has a problem in that its efficiency plummets as the chip size becomes smaller due to its high surface recombination rate. Also, because it is mechanically weak, the yield drops sharply when transferring, and the expensive wafer prices make the process cost high.

Because of these issues, red GaN epi has been receiving much attention from the display industry as an alternative solution, not least because it uses the same material as blue and green micro LEDs.

So far, due to the technical difficulties, only three or four companies worldwide are known succeeded in red colour with GaN. And these are known to have exclusive contracts with Meta and Google, says James Kimoon Lee, VP and sales and marketing at Soft-EPI Inc. “It means microLED developers are having difficulties in their R&D because they cannot get red GaN epi elsewhere,” he adds.

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