Pushing Down Its Cost-Wafer level LED
- Mar 30, 2017-
A wafer, also called a slice or substrate, a thin slice of semiconductor material, such as crystalline silicon,used in electronics for the fabrication of integrated circuit and in photovoltaic market for conventional, wafer-based solar cells.
Early LEDs were often used as indicator lamps for electronic devices, replacing small incandescent bulbs. They were soon packaged into numeric readouts in the form of seven-segment displays and were commonly seen in digital clocks. Recent developments in LEDs permit them to be used in environmental and task lighting.
Nowadays,the dominant technology for today’s high-brightness LEDs is gallium nitride on sapphire or silicon carbide substrates. These materials are popular because the resultant LEDs are bright, efficient, and last a long time. However, the chips are tough to manufacture and package into usable devices, multiplying the cost of end products that use them as light engines. Although prices have plummeted in recent years, LED lighting is still considerably more expensive to purchase than traditional alternatives. This initial expense is cited as a major factor slowing the acceptance of solid-state lighting .
A key element of the cost of LED bulbs is the LED chips themselves. Each LED bulb typically comprises an array of six, eight, or ten LED chips, each of which is manufactured from exotic materials in a complex wafer-fabrication process and then expensively packaged in a three- or four-step assembly operation. Replacing both the material and manufacturing costs with cheaper alternatives would dramatically reduce the initial purchase price of LEDs, encouraging more rapid adoption.
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