Eco Investor May 2015

Pre-Revenue Companies

US Evaluation of BluGlass Technology

BluGlass has made some progress in the commercialization of its LED technology with large US LED equipment maker, Veeco Instruments Inc, to evaluate p-GAN grown on BluGlass' RPCVD machine for use in power electronics and LED applications. p-GAN is the top layer on a wafer that improves the efficiency of the active layer just below it.

The evaluation will require significant development work by BluGlass, it may involve multiple iterations, and there is no guarantee of any future commercial collaboration.

But Veeco is a substantial industry player. It was founded by two scientists from the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb, and today it claims to be a world leader in the manufacture of process equipment. An important part of its business is electronics and LED equipment and it says its TurboDisc EPIK700 MOCVD System is the LED industry's most productive MOCVD system that reduces cost per wafer by up to 20 per cent compared to previous generations.

So it sounds like a good company for BluGlass to impress, especially as BluGlass' RPCVD technology can both replace or complement the MOCVD technology.

BluGlass managing director, Giles Bourne, said the evaluation is one of the most important announcements by the company to date as it is a way to impress the industry, and to know whether BluGlass can grow what the company wants.

The evaluation will see Veeco provide 2 inch green multi-quantum well (MQW) wafers and 6 inch silicon high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) wafers on which BluGlass will use its RPCVD technology to grow p-GAN.

This approach uses BluGlass' low temperature RPCVD technology to complement Veeco's MOCVD technology as RPCVD p-GAN will sit on MOCVD grown partial LED and HEMT structures. Veeco will evaluate the RPCVD p-GaN for use in both GaN on silicon HEMTs for power electronic applications and green LEDs. It will be looking for how well the p-GaN grows on top of the MQW, at the performance of the green LED as green is hard to do, and suitability for power electronics devices.

If Veeco likes the results it may lead to a commercial deal, but Mr Bourne emphasized that that is not part of the current arrangement. If a commercial deal did follow, this could be either a joint venture and co-development or a licencing of the technology.

The evaluation proposal follows BluGlass' February announcement that improvements in performance data meant its RPCVD p-GaN that was grown on MOCVD partial LED structures was approaching the performance benchmark of full MOCVD LEDs grown in- house by BluGlass. BluGlass provided this performance data to the LED industry. (ASX: BLG)

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