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Mitsubishi Chemical to produce white LEDs

23 Apr 2008

Combining in-house technology with assets acquired from another Mitsubishi subsidiary will allow the development of white LEDs by 2010.

Mitsubishi Chemical (MCC) has acquired the UV LED assets of Mitsubishi Cable, which it will combine with its own expertise to break into the white LED market. With substrate, phosphor, sealant and near-UV LED product lines all now in the one company, bringing them together in a white lamp is a logical next step.

The transfer of the facilities and technologies of the near-UV LED business between the two Tokyo-headquartered Mitusbishi subsidiaries was completed on March 31.

Those UV LEDs will now be integrated with MCC's phosphor and high-durability sealant manufacturing knowledge, with the intention of producing white LED packages by 2010. Sales of the individual high-power UV LEDs, UV excitation phosphors and sealants are targeted for launch in 2009.

LED development will include tailoring phosphors along two separate product lines. In the first, MCC will aim to produce warm-white LED packages for general illumination purposes, and the second will target LCD backlighting.

According to its March 2008 business update, MCC can currently produce individual LED modules that emit light with a luminous flux of 500 lm. It aims to push this figure over 1000 lm by 2010 and to 1500 lm by 2012.

These efforts will exploit the knowledge of MCC's collaborators Yamaguchi University and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) at the chip design level.

In the company's GaN substrate business, Tohuku University is providing materials expertise to help expand wafer diameters beyond the current 2-inch scale. The larger substrates are targeted at the power electronics market and are due to go on sale in 2008.

Interestingly, the plan does not mention MCC's non-polar GaN substrates, which UCSB and Rohm have used to great effect in their LED research.

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