The rising demand for LEDs has equipment suppliers scrambling to increase yields as high-brightness LEDs for solid-state lighting become a commodity industry. The stakes are high, since over the decade every incandescent bulb on the planet is expected to be replaced by LEDs, fueling a $14.9 billion market by 2013. Look for LEDs to replace light bulbs over the next decade. R.C.J.
Veeco Instruments Inc. (Plainview, N.Y.) has landed a $4 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to research and develop higher-yielding organic LEDs (OLEDs) that would be 10 times more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. The specific goal of the two-year project, which will be conducted with Sandia National Labs (Albuquerque), will be to reduce the cost of epitaxial growth fourfold for high-brightness LEDs. Today, variations in metal-organic chemical-vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactors require that fab lines bin for color, brightness, forward voltage and other variations. That requirement dampens yields, and there is no quick fix when moving to higher-volume production.
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