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Old 07-19-2010, 05:45 AM #1
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Default Better GaN = Better lasers @ less $$$

Happened to stumble on this while looking for a good read and thought I should share. IEEE Spectrum: The World's Best Gallium Nitride


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Old 07-19-2010, 11:19 AM #2
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Default Re: Better GaN = Better lasers @ less $$$

That was a great advancement. I used to work in the semiconductor industry. The process closest to what they are doing was chemical vapor deposition. It's almost the opposite of this process. It was done at low pressure and not as high of a temperature. Similar to growing a silicon boule, but not as complex as that. Gallium Nitride is more like creating an artificial diamond. High temp and high pressure. But even harder it would appear than creating artificial diamonds, while being more lucrative in the long term.
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:17 PM #3
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Default Re: Better GaN = Better lasers @ less $$$

Yeah, more difficult than diamond I believe. We're talking supercritical ammonia: work out the energy density of supercritical ammonia at those temperatures and pressures, and it is literally the energy density of dynamite, hence the giant secondary containment vessels you see in their images. Those reactors are nerve-wrecking.

But ammonothermal GaN is certainly very promising. A lot of problems to work out, but promising.

And still the weirdest part for me to wrap my head around is the inverse solubility curve. Sugar, salt, all these typical solubility things we think of are more soluble in hotter environments. Making rock candy: heat the water to dissolve more, then the sugar crystallizes as the water cools. But not GaN in supercritical ammonia, it is more soluble in the cool side of the reactor, and precipitates on the hot side of the reactor. Crazy stuff, at least to me.
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:28 PM #4
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Default Re: Better GaN = Better lasers @ less $$$

Woohoo, go Nichia!
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:31 PM #5
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Default Re: Better GaN = Better lasers @ less $$$

As an aside, this is clearly an older publicity photo, and that is pretty big GaN crystal to show off in general....the problem is it's not supposed to be black. Black is bad. And the first image in the article is certainly impressive for its size (even though the author calls it a hexagon when it's clearly an octagon, LOL), it still has a color as well.




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Woohoo, go Nichia!
And what about all the other companies, everybody else out there working on the same stuff? Don't you want to cheer all them on too?

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Old 07-19-2010, 04:49 PM #6
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Default Re: Better GaN = Better lasers @ less $$$

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And what about all the other companies, everybody else out there working on the same stuff? Don't you want to cheer all them on too?
I'd rather cheer them on than Nichia, but I'm always a fan of the underdogs..
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:50 PM #7
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Default Re: Better GaN = Better lasers @ less $$$

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
I'd rather cheer them on than Nichia, but I'm always a fan of the underdogs..
True that.

The stories I've heard of Nichia's facilities are just staggering to think about, not to mention what portion of the industry's IP they hold. And funny that they even hold that IP in the first place. Some very interesting corporate history, that is.

I still laugh to myself about this one time when a friend of a friend, who was just out of law school, came to a party that me and a bunch of my coworkers/friends were attending. It was pretty funny when she started discussing how some of the juicier bits of Nichia's recent history were a case study in one of her law classes, and how me and all my friends had such knowledge from a completely different point of view.

But anyway, yeah, this is some cool technology. And we can do some very cool things with it.

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