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2013 | 124 | 2 | 213-218
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Will Czochralski Growth of Sapphire Once Again Prevail?

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In the past decade there has been an explosive growth in the consumption of sapphire driven by the demands of the next generation of energy efficient general lighting based on GaN LEDs. This application requires orienting these rhombohedral corundum crystals such that the substrate surface is the c-plane; a basal plane defined using hexagonal axes. Sapphire crystals form a strong facet on the c-plane, and growth in that direction generally results in crystals with high defect densities, particularly dislocations, and low angle grain boundaries. To overcome this drawback, the usual methodology is to grow the crystal in the a-direction and then core drill rods perpendicularly which are then sliced into c-plane substrates. For all crystal growth techniques commonly employed for sapphire, this approach suffers from poor material utilization. Although this has generally been viewed as an acceptable trade-off in the manufacturing process as long as 2" substrates were the dominant market, as substrate diameters have increased towards 150 mm and larger, this compromise is no longer seen as a viable alternative because of the low material utilization and the high energy consumption of the growth process. This has led to a renewed look at the Czochralski process for more efficient c-axis substrate production.
  • Consultant, P.O. Box 2413, Santa Rosa, California, 95405, USA
  • Sino-American Silicon Products Inc., Innovation Technology Research Center, No. 8, Industry E. Rd. II Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu 30075, Taiwan, R.O.C.
  • Current address: Adjunct Research Faculty, Department of Physics, Portland State University P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751, USA
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