SBIR Phase II: High Power, Vertically Conducting UV LEDs

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Nitek Incorporated
1804 Salem Church Rd, Irmo, SC, 29063
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Vinod Adivarahan
(803) 777-0710
Business Contact:
Vinod Adivarahan
(803) 777-0710
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will result in the commercialization of high power, large area, deep UV LEDs based on a novel vertically conducting geometry that is arbitrarily scalable. AlInGaN based deep UV-B LEDs (ýý = 300 - 340 nm) have recently been developed and commercialized but have not reached the performance metrics of shorter wavelength UV-C LEDs, or longer wavelength visible LEDs. These devices have been able to penetrate some niche markets but because the output power is far below that which is required for penetration of the largest UV-B market segments (e.g. biomedical instrumentation and industrial curing) they have been limited in their reach. Visible LEDs faced a similar challenge 5-10 years ago and it was recognized that to compete with existing technology, high power large area LEDs were required. This approach has been limited for deep UV LEDs because the insulating UV transparent substrates combined with relatively large resistance AlGaN materials result in current crowding and non-uniform device bias when geometry is scaled up. To address this challenge, the company is developing vertically conducting large area LEDs with expected minimum output powers of 10 mW per 1 mm x 1 mm device. Deep UV light emitting diodes represent a new opportunity for commercialization of semiconductor products for component and systems use. U.S. based manufacturers have succeeded in competing globally in the visible LED market with two of the five largest LED manufacturers being based in the U.S. with two in Japan and one in Germany. This optoelectronic field continues to grow each year and if the outcome of this effort is successful its outcome will contribute to the advancement of a novel light source. The creation of this company will capitalize on the high-tech research that is being performed at the University Of South Carolina by providing an environment in which to transition this knowledge into a commercial setting as part of efforts to transition the local economy from traditional industries such as textile manufacturing.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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