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Thermally Controlled Rotational Grinding of Sapphire Wafers for Highly Efficient Manufacturing of Modern White LED Light Sources

Objective

The market for discrete light emitting diodes (LEDs) is very fast growing. Basic materials for white and blue LEDs are wafers of Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Sapphire (Al2O3). Today European enterprises, most of them SMEs, hold less than 5% of worldwide wafer production due to high production costs compared to the main producers Russia, USA and Japan.

The most time consuming and therefore expensive process steps in production of sapphire wafers are lapping and polishing. This process chain can be significantly shortened by substituting lapping by grinding as grinding allows for a much better surface quality in a shorter time. As a result the time needed for polishing will be diminished as well. This will be a decisive step for the European wafer manufacturers to gain significant shares in a highly profitable market.

As grinding of silicon wafers, basic material for red and yellow LEDs, today is state of the art, grinding of sapphire wafers fails due to the variability and the interaction of individual effects during the grinding process. Due to this reasons, a direct measurement of the in-process parameters within the contact zone between work piece and grinding wheel is of eminent interest for developing a stable grinding process.

ThermoGrind will allow the measurement of one of the key process parameters, the grinding temperature. For this, the optical transparency of sapphire for infrared radiation initiated in the contact zone will be exploited. Following this principle, ThermoGrind develops an innovative infrared transparent wafer clamping system (chuck) that allows temperature measurement by capturing the infrared radiation transmitted through wafer and clamping system. As a second step ThermoGrind will develop a temperature based loop control of the grinding process in order to achieve optimal process stability under mass production conditions

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds

Call for proposal

FP7-SME-2008-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

BSG-SME - Research for SMEs

Coordinator

FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Address
Hansastrasse 27C
80686 Munchen
Germany
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 26 500
Administrative Contact
Andrea Zeumann (Ms.)

Participants (5)

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI UDINE
Italy
EU contribution
€ 15 000
Address
Via Palladio 8
33100 Udine
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Rudi Francescutti (Dr.)
GENAUIGKEITS MASCHINENBAU NURNBERG GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 250 250
Address
Behringstrasse 19A
63814 Mainaschaff
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Gerhard Könnemann (Mr.)
Atlantic Diamond Ltd.
Ireland
EU contribution
€ 219 500
Address
Docklands Innovation Park East Wall Road
3 Dublin
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Mícheál ó Ceallaigh (Mr.)
CrystalQ
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 183 500
Address
Electronicaweg 1
9503GA Stadskanaal
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Joris Barendregt (Mr.)
T K F Technische Keramik Frömgen GmbH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 185 000
Address
Dieselstraße 3
41352 Korschenbroich
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Gerhard W. Frömgen (Mr.)