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Monitoring and Control of Chemical Composition of InGaN Layers During MOCVD

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-13ER90629
Agency Tracking Number: 83684
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 11 d
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000760
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-02-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
5000 College Avenue
College Park, MD 20740-3809
United States
DUNS: 826528809
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 George Atanasoff
 (301) 332-6167
Business Contact
 George Atanasoff
Title: Dr.
Research Institution

Metal-Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) epitaxial processes are used to deposit the GaN, InGaN, AlGaN and other wide band-gap semiconductor thin films making up the buffer, quantum well, and cap layers of the next generation high- brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs) for Solid State Lighting (SSL). Non-uniformity of the central wavelength over the wafers, batch-to-batch and reactor-to-reactor non-repeatability are primary contributors to reduced manufacturing yield. On the epitaxial level, non-uniform device performance results from the variations of chemical composition and thickness of the individual InGaN quantum well layers. Being extremely thin, the individual quantum well layers remain beyond the resolution of the standard optical monitoring techniques. This SBIR Phase I projects objective is to research and develop a prototype of optical monitoring and control system utilizing AccuStratas know-how in real-time optical monitoring, intelligent data-mining and process modeling, which has already been commercially demonstrated in the PV industry. AccuStrata will develop, install and validate on a commercial MOCVD reactor an alpha-prototype of a spectroscopic optical monitoring and process control system. The system will monitor the LED thin films as they grow in real time on the individual wafers, record the signal in a broad spectral range and process the information to retrieve the most important film parameters and their distribution over a single wafer, all the wafers in a batch and multiple batches. During the epitaxial growth of the thin quantum well films, the recorded spectral signal will be correlated to the process parameters such as substrate temperature and precursor gas composition. AccuStrata will deploy a novel algorithm for a real-time pattern search in the acquired broadband spectral data and display any abnormalities and differences in the deposition of the individual quantum well layers. This information can be used by the MOCVD engineer to better tune the epitaxial process, and later can be integrated into the MOCVD reactor to ensure better repeatability of the individual quantum well layers in the LED structure and allow tightening of the distribution of the LED central wavelength. The monitoring and control system will shorten the time for manufacturing high quality LEDs, reduce non-uniformity on a single wafer and batch-to-batch and reactor-to-reactor variations. It will enable manufacturing of new generation HB-LED with improved efficacy and lower cost, needed for faster adoption of SSL.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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