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NCKU signed a collaborative agreement with Taiwan Nitride Material Inc.

Tainan, TAIWAN, Oct. 6th

Prof. Hwung-Hweng Hwung (黃煌輝), the Senior Executive Vice President of National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) - Taiwan, on behalf of NCKU, signed a joint venture agreement with a privately owned Taiwan Nitride Material Inc. led by its chairman Mr. H.H. Chang (張鴻灝), for the production of aluminum nitride (AlN) on Oct. 6th. Both parties agreed to invest a total of NT$ 30 million (US$ 932,000) for research and development of AlN, a semiconductor material widely used for heat radiation and insulation in microelectronics and optoelectronics.

NCKU will have a share right of 18% resulted from technique transfer and expects to have a revenue of at least NT$ 100 million (US$ 3.1 million) over the next ten years. The AlN production technique was developed by Prof. Shyan-Lung Chung (鍾賢龍) of the NCKU Department of Chemical Engineering under the support from National Science Council (NSC) with an umbrella project, “A Study of Interdisciplinary Platform for New Technology Commercialization, Academic-Enterprise Collaboration, and Entrepreneurship”, supervised by the principal investigator - NCKU SEVP Hwung-Hweng Hwung. This agreement is the first joint venture in aluminum nitride production in Taiwan and certainly created a new way of the commercialization in the cross field of new technologies.

The academia-industry collaboration is essential to promote industrial development and innovation of our society. However, most universities in Taiwan emphasized the mode of academia-industry collaboration in technology transfer in the past few years, which often leads to a failure since no continuous R&D creation has been put in from university. However, the new mode of academia-industry collaboration has been reflected on the NSC-sponsored project, “A Study of Interdisciplinary Platform for New Technology Commercialization, Academic-Enterprise Collaboration, and Entrepreneurship”, led by NCKU SEVP Hwung. This new mode is to establish technical, marketing, producing and financial analysis actively, to recruit the employees with competence and to raise enough capital to realize creative and technical commercialization. That is, academia and industry will be close partners even after signing the agreement and finishing technology transfer. Prof. Hwung (黃煌輝) also expects to make public announcement soon on another joint venture, under this project, in production of aquaculture oral bacterial vaccine formulations and copper resources recycling industry for the next 6 months.

“I have a wish. I hope to develop a product at my homeland to strengthen the international competitiveness of local industry of my homeland. Now it is the time for our earth with an emphasis in energy conservation and less carbon emission. Light emitting diode (LED) provides a right solution to it. That is, LED lighting is replacing iridescent bulbs. However, the life of LED is still of grave concern resulted from overheating of the device. I really appreciated the effort done by Prof. Shyan-Lung Chung (鍾賢龍) on development of AlN products that could solve this problem,” said Mr. Chang, chairman of Taiwan Nitride Material Inc.

“In addition, Taiwan is known for its volume production of LED. The coverage and luminescence intensity in LED lighting is increasing, and backlight modules for LCD displays, made by LED, is prevailing. Moreover, AlN just solved the problem in heat dissipation, frequently encountered in LED devices and the main cause of failure to such devices, especially in lighting and large-size TV with higher energy efficiency and less carbon emission. It also helps enhance the competitive advantage of Taiwan's high-power LED lighting, such as street lamps and backlight module industry. I hope this is a beginning for us as becoming NCKU’s strategic partners, and there will be more collaborative opportunities with each other in the future,” said Mr. Chang chairman of Taiwan Nitride Material Inc.

Prof. SL Chung from NCKU Chemical Engineering Department has been dedicated to researches on AlN for so many years. Prof. Chung has developed different techniques, for example, sintering and composite materials, in efficient production of AlN. There have been a number of manufacturers in close cooperation with Prof. Chung’s laboratory in order to develop or to commission test in AlN downstream products. AlN products are becoming more and more popular, as its production cost is reduced with these innovative inventions by Prof. SL Chung. Even more, these innovative inventions have been protected under various issued patents and expect to generate high revenue.

It is worth to say that this cooperation project in the case of cross-cooperation model for the first time from technology development, technology transfer to technology commercialization, and mass production is done by the same research team. It can promote the continuous technological development and continuously mass production and product testing by the newly-established company to shorten the technology development schedule, but also to ensure that technology development is suitable for the demand of business industry and customers.

About the project: A Study of Interdisciplinary Platform for New Technology Commercialization, Academic-Enterprise Collaboration, and Entrepreneurship
The main objective of this project, “A Study of Interdisciplinary Platform for New Technology Commercialization, Academic-Enterprise Collaboration, and Entrepreneurship”, led by NCKU SEVP Hwung is to integrate the related sources of academia-industry, including the NCKU Research and Service Headquarter (RSH) and the NCKU Technology Licensing and Business Incubation Center (TLBIC). They also integrated six innovative sub-projects to cooperate with industry actively and to drive incubation of novel invention, to give balance of capital and innovative group planning and to establish a new company to realize the commercialization of creative technology. These six project are “aquaculture oral bacterial vaccine formulations research sub-research project”, “health development of Chinese herbal medicine research project”, “copper loop resource industries sub-research project”, “biosurfactant products sub-research project”, “aluminum nitride production and development of innovative technologies sub-research project” and “aluminum nitride electrical substrates metallization sub-research project”.

Innovative technological commercialization platform is aimed to establish a new company from technological development to innovative incubation as a series of service differed from the past academic innovation which is follow-up the industry market development and operational management by technology transfer. However, it is easy to break down the project due to technical fail-embracing in promoting the process of convergence.

The technological value evaluation of innovative technologies in sub-projects of “A Study of Interdisciplinary Platform for New Technology Commercialization, Academic-Enterprise Collaboration, and Entrepreneurship” will come with a relevant market demand, marketing and manufacturing feasibility and cost-benefit assessment. They will invite manufacturers to participate closely, to send technical members with the evaluation of various innovative technologies in the process developmental feasibility and the technology in mass production of the prototype development. They will set up an academia-industry collaborative platform after technology development is mature; and then plan the management team together, develop investment feasibility operating projects, raise funds, and build up the factories and technology commercialization.

About Aluminum nitride (AlN)
Aluminum nitride (AlN) is a nitride of aluminum. Its wurtzite phase (w-AlN) is a wide band gap (6.2 eV) semiconductor material, giving it potential application for deep ultraviolet optoelectronics. AlN was first synthesized in 1877 but it was not until the mid 1980s that its potential for application in microelectronics spurred development of high quality commercially viable material.

AlN is synthesized by carbothermal reduction of alumina or by direct nitridation of aluminum. It has a density of 3.26 g/cm3 and although it does not melt, it dissociates above 2500°C at atmospheric pressure. The material is covalently bonded and is resistant to sintering without the assistance of liquid forming additives. Typically oxides such as Y2O3 or CaO allow sintering to be achieved at temperatures between 1600 ~ 1900°C.

Aluminum nitride is stable at high temperatures in inert atmospheres and melts at 2800 °C. In a vacuum, AlN decomposes at ca. 1800 °C. In the air, surface oxidation occurs above 700°C, and even at room temperature, surface oxide layers of 5 ~ 10 nm have been detected. This oxide layer protects the material up to 1370°C. Above this temperature bulk oxidation occurs. Aluminum nitride is stable in hydrogen and carbon dioxide atmospheres up to 980°C.

The material dissolves slowly in mineral acids through grain boundary attack, and in strong alkalies through attack on the aluminum nitride grains. The material hydrolyzes slowly in water. Aluminum nitride is resistant to attack from most molten salts, including chlorides and cryolite.

AlN is synthesized by the carbothermal reduction of alumina or by direct nitridation of aluminum. The use of sintering aids and hot pressing is required to produce a dense technical grade material. Metallization methods are available to allow AlN to be used in electronics applications similar to those of alumina and BeO.

Currently there is much research into developing light-emitting diodes to operate in the ultraviolet using the gallium nitride based semiconductors and, using the alloy aluminum gallium nitride, wavelengths as short as 250 nm have been achieved. In May 2006 an inefficient AlN LED emission at 210 nm was reported.

Among the applications of AlN are opto-electronics, dielectric layers in optical storage media, electronic substrates, and chip carriers where high thermal conductivity is essential, military applications, as a crucible to grow crystals of gallium arsenide, steel and semiconductor manufacturing.

Epitaxially grown thin film crystalline aluminum nitride is also used for surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors deposited on silicon wafers because of the AlN's piezoelectric properties. One application is an RF filter used in mobile phones called a thin film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR). This is a MEMS device that uses aluminum nitride sandwiched between two metal layers.

The most remarkable property exhibited by AlN is its high thermal conductivity - in ceramic materials second only to beryllia. At moderate temperatures (circa 200°C) its thermal conductivity exceeds that of copper. This high conductivity coupled with high volume resistivity and dielectric strength leads to its application as substrates and packaging for high power or high-density assemblies of microelectronic components. One of the controlling factors which limit the density of packing of electronic components is the need to dissipate heat arising from ohmic losses and maintain the components within their operating temperature range. Substrates made from AlN provide more efficient cooling than conventional and other ceramic substrates, hence their use as chip carriers and heat sinks
Provider : 新聞中心
Date : 10-19
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