Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Energy Cost Reduction in UV-C LED Manufacturing.(25216)

Crystal IS, Incorporated


Crystal IS (CIS) recently demonstrated and is currently producing UV light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with emission wavelength around 265 nm, which is a peak for DNA destruction and thus, very appropriate for disinfection applications. Advantages of UV LEDs are robustness, low input power, low working temperature, no warm-up time and no toxicity. CIS UV LEDs have shown lifetimes in excess of 10,000 hours and UV output power as high as 5 mW for an injection current of 100 mA, with the goal of reaching an output power of 100 mW and a wall-plug efficiency of 20% within the next two years. The main barrier for the ubiquitous presence of UV LEDs is the high cost/performance ratio. Electric-grid powered UV lights are used extensively for disinfection, LED versions are more efficient than mercury vapor versions. As is typical of other semiconductor technologies, a key pathway to lower this cost by orders of magnitude is to manufacture more devices per substrate using standard semiconductor equipment to handle these substrates. Crystal IS has developed a one-inch AlN substrate that will allow for increased production, however, needs to develop a manufacturing process to prepare the wafers within required parameters.

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Project Description

The goal of this project is to design an industrial process to achieve 1-inch diameter substrates, with over 90% yield, amd with the atomically flat surface needed to achieve pseudomorphic nitride growth. The main issues to be tackled along this project will be boule coring, improving substrate slicing to increase as-cut flatness and reduce kerf, and designing a substrate preparation protocol that ensures atomically flat surfaces without subsurface damage.


Increasing the wafer size to 1-inch diameter allows seven times more devices per wafer, which in return lowers the production costs of the UV LEDs, therefore making the technology more affordable. Crystal IS expects to reduce the 10 MWh energy needed to produce a single 10x10 mm2 wafer to 1 MWh to produce a 1” round wafer.

Project Results


Crystal IS, Incorporated
70 Cohoes Ave
Green Island, NY 12183

Principle Investigator

Sandra Schujman

Universities Involved


Project Type:

On-site Process Improvement

Technologies Types:


NYSERDA Contact Information

Scott Larsen


R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr

Contract Details

Start Date: 3/20/2012
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: 25216

Last Updated: 5/16/2014