Semiconductors: Lighting the way to sustainability

silicon wafers microcircuits automation system control

Not so very long ago, in 2010, LEDs accounted for just 1% of global lighting sales. By 2020, they represented 51% of the market – meaning more than half of the world’s artificial light is now generated by semiconductors.

Although it makes us very proud to have accompanied this development with our MRD XL product line, this is primarily great news for environmental sustainability: LEDs are famously energy efficient, using at least 75% less energy than incandescent lamps and lasting much longer. With lighting making up 15% of global electricity consumption, it’s no wonder that more and more countries are phasing out incumbents like filament bulbs (which waste 90% of their energy in the form of heat) in order to support progress toward their net-zero goals. Happily, this movement has been boosted in recent years by LEDs offering increasingly higher performance at continuously lower costs.

So far, so good for semiconductors as an environmentally sustainable technology. With a maturing LED industry the compound semiconductor technology is turning towards the next issue: Power conversion. And again Malvern Panalytical is helping the semiconductor industry to accelerate progress toward a more energy-efficient world!

Cooler, smaller, better

Our next target is power conversion for batteries, from your laptop to your electric car. Energy conversion inevitably results in heat loss, the more efficient you can make your energy conversion, the more of your precious battery capacity is used, the less cooling is required, and the smaller your packaging can be – so there are sustainability and design wins all round.

To achieve these efficiency gains, we can use the same compound semiconductor materials that powered the LED revolution. – with a different layer structure. –And to ensure these semiconductors are primed for the best possible energy savings, we can turn to Malvern Panalytical’s X’Pert3 MRD XL with all its new options.

Malvern Panalytical XRD's offering for the semiconductor market

The wafer analysis our world needs

Whether you’re conducting R&D or carrying out quality control checks, X-ray diffractometry (XRD) is an essential tool for the non-destructive structural characterization of GaN semiconductors. Our MRD XL enables users to analyze wafers accurately and precisely, with best-in-class repeatability and reproducibility – and, because it’s a modular solution, you can add on extra functionality as and when you need it, making it extremely cost-effective to split your CAPEX between R&D mode at first and added fab mode automation when you need it. Also many R&D investigations are possible on our fab tools.

Best of all, our recent upgrades mean the MRD XL is better suited than ever to meet the demands of the industry’s ‘lab-to-fab’ shift. First, we’ve obtained cleanroom certification for the MRD XL up to ISO class 4, to meet the heightened cleanroom requirements that come with such a transition. Second, we’ve ensured that our instruments and software not only comply with SEMI and SECS/GEM automation standards but also provide a top-quality, user-friendly interface.

Illuminating the path to net-zero

All this makes our MRD XL an ideal solution for ensuring the energy efficiency of your LED and power-conversion semiconductors. By continuing to raise the performance and lower the cost of these products, developers and manufacturers can make them more accessible to more people, growing our global energy savings. Together, we can contribute to a better world – one that’s brighter and powered by sustainability.  

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