Earlier in Glew’s News we discussed the high stock growth that Veeco Instruments [NASDQ: VECO] experienced over the past year. Its gain is largely attributed to acceptance and consumer demand for high brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs). Forecasts estimate that HB-LEDs will be a $12B market by 2012.
The metal oxide chemical vapor deposition (MO CVD) epitaxial processes that have enabled the stunning optical performance over the whole visible spectrum of these LEDs rely on specific nitride films. Semiconductor stalwarts gallium nitride (GaN) and aluminum nitride (AlN) are used, as well as indium nitride (InN).
Delivering the liquid precursors trimethylgallium used for GaN, and trimethylaluminum used for AlN, is generally understood and commercialized for large scale production facilities, but still presents some complications. The larger challenge lies in delivering the preferred solid precursor trimethylindium (TMI) used for InN. Me3I must either be stored in an ampoule and vaporized locally at the MO CVD tool with a bubbler system or have a remotely distributed bulk slurry system with a bubbler apparatus collocated with tool. Both of these options require extensive fluid mechanics research and safety design considerations due to the pyrophoric nature of Me3I . Glew Engineering Consulting has extensive experience in designing hazardous chemical delivery systems and offers safety consultation to fabs, equipment and materials suppliers.