From telephone and mobile to a television set, electronics has been playing an essential and fundamental role in catering to the technological and innovative needs of people. With the enormously evolving digital world, the demand for advanced technologies in the hardware electronic industry, especially in the LED sector, is presently at its peak.
In the rapidly growing industry, a few companies are fostering innovation and their efforts towards innovation have rewarded them a significant brand growth. Stimulating the idea of research and development in Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductors, Lightwave Photonics Inc. is taking efforts to make LED devices brighter and more efficient.
An Innovatory Institution
Lightwave Photonics started with a motto of creating stronger and brighter GaN LED structures. In its early days, the company used a technology named Mirror Technology. However, it did not hit its mark before a competing solution called Pattern Sapphire Substrates (PSS) emerged in the market. Mirror Technology and PSS were both used for light extraction of light produced in LEDs. When PSS surpassed the Mirror Technology in product demonstrations, the market situation became ambiguous. However, the company continued with the developments as its innovations were fundamental in nature.
The company was spearheading the growth of (Type-3) III- Nitrides by sputtering and the insertion of metallic-like layers within the semiconductor layers. At that time, no other company was focusing on such ideas. For instance, there are seemingly no other manufacturing solutions for solid optical microcavity structures like GaN-based LEDs. The importance of this technology has particularly increased since the advent of microLED solutions. As PSS features are not suitable for microLED solutions, the industry is seeking other better solutions. LPI is currently in discussions with the other semiconductor industries about additional uses of its materials and processes.
Pioneering Electronic Inventions
Over the years, the LED industry has evolved from standard LED to microLED. The repeating features of pattern sapphire are of the same size as an entire microLED and thus there is a logical shift to LPI’s mirrored templates. These templates provide effective advantages including beam shaping and better internal quantum efficiency for a sharp and bright LED beam.
These are the benefits of the physics of microcavities and LPI is taking efforts to make them available to the industry by providing an easy way to manufacture the devices. Total US$280B has been invested in the metaverse structure globally. However, less than 2% of the investment is dedicated to the microLED sector. LPI assures that its LED solutions will definitely solve the difficulties in the implementation of microLEDs.
A Wide Range of Distinguished Solutions
LPI primarily serves two areas of the LED industry—Mirror Templates and low-cost, low-temperature GaN growth by sputtering. As the company’s sputtering technique is more advantageous than MOCVD (Metalorganic Chemical Vapour Deposition), it can better use new dopants and compound compositions to enable new materials and devices.
The mirror template wafers allow epitaxial Red, Green, and Blue LEDs to grow subsequently. These conductive mirror templates eliminate the need for a thick N-type GaN layer to be grown between the mirror and the active region. A solid conductive mirror creates a thin spacer layer that is responsible for high-functioning microLEDs.
Presently, LPI’s GaN-based growth by sputtering technique is a part of interest of many industries in the LED and Nitride Electronic areas. Numerous companies are demanding for the merging of Silicon electronics and GaN photonics. However, LPI is currently targeting the microLED sector and small-scale industries and has taken on the task of providing customer solutions on 8″ wafers. The company strongly believes that this technology will replace MOCVD where low-temperature processes create integrations.
A Team of Ardent Experts
LPI has a talented, reliable workforce that understands the potential demand of Mirror Template technology. This demand for technology and markets motivates the team to work more efficiently. At the helm, Robert Jorgenson (CEO of LPI) handles the major responsibilities to propel the company forward. He has been playing a key role in the company’s success since its inception. He plays many roles including a mentor, motivational leader, team player, strategist, and righteous communicator.
Employee Productivity and Satisfaction
To increase employee productivity and satisfaction, LPI tries to connect the importance of a person’s day-to-day activities such as family, stress levels, hours worked, etc. with a good compensation package. Moreover, LPI attempts to build a network of customers, partners, and educational institutes. It is trying to establish technical communities that help the company propel and contribute to the electronics industry.
The pandemic necessitated the world to work from greater distances. Robert mentions that providing considerable support to the employees and giving them the free environment to work and grow is important in these difficult times. Lightwave Photonics has a creative group of employees who share a common vision.
During the initial days, Robert focused on fundamental material science innovations that are important regardless of the market condition. Every market demand accomplished by LPI has many important small firsts that are important to the team and its operations. It is the natural enthusiasm that accomplishes the tasks in the company. “It’s about having interesting work, good people, and common mutual goals,” says Robert.
Scrutinizing Present for Optimistic Future
In the past few years, there has been a notable transition in technology and LPI has been working relentlessly in the advancements of microLEDs and GaN semiconductor sectors. The company is currently focusing on strengthening partnerships and new connections. It believes in the market and its capabilities in three areas including Licensing, Equipment Sales with OEM partners, and mirror template wafer sales and is planning to expand in these areas.
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