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Almost-100-kg sapphire crystal grown in China

Photonics Spectra
Aug 2011
Compiled by Photonics Spectra staff

HEFEI, China – Hefei Crystalbridge Optoelectronic Materials Co. Ltd. has produced a commercial-grade sapphire crystal of nearly 100 kg, the largest ever produced in China. Crystalbridge estimates that the crystal will yield 4000 mm of 2-in.-equivalent rods, or about 5700 high-quality 2-in. substrates.

Crystalbridge used a Model K1 sapphire crystal grower from California-based Thermal Technology to grow the boule in 14 days, an increase in productivity of more than 25 percent compared with most other Chinese producers. “Achieving this milestone only one month from equipment move-in demonstrates our ability to operationally execute and to become a key supplier in the global LED market,” said Chen Jun, general manager at Crystalbridge.


Hefei Crystalbridge Optoelectronic Materials Co. Ltd. used Thermal Technology’s Model K1 grower to produce a sapphire crystal of nearly 100 kg, the largest ever grown in China. Image courtesy of Thermal Technology.


The Model K1 sapphire crystal grower is now in startup at multiple customers in China. “The K1 cycle time is 25 to 30 percent faster than other alternatives, so each of our systems can produce 25,000 to 30,000 substrates more per year than our competitors using [other systems],” Chen said. Crystalbridge expects to be producing LED substrates at a rate of greater than 1 million pieces annually by the end of 2011 and will expand to more than 5 million annually by the end of 2012.


GLOSSARY
boule
1. A group of optical fibers that are fused and then treated to produce a vacuum-tight optical fiber cone or plate. 2. An artificial crystal in its raw state, after generation but prior to cutting or polishing.
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