OFweek Semiconductor Lighting Network has set off a fierce competition in technology development worldwide in order to seize the rapidly growing market of UV LED and achieve the goal of cost by improving luminous efficiency and establishing mass production technology. First of all, there are three Japanese enterprises: Nippon Machinery, Asahi Huacheng and Deshan. In recent years, they have made great progress in UV LED every year.
Japan Machinery Installation is a large enterprise which produces industrial pumps and other products in Japan. It started to develop deep ultraviolet LED as a new business very early. In order to transform the research results of AlGaN LED of 2014 Nobel Prize winner Nagasaki Yong and Hiroshi Hirano into products, Nagasaki University of Japan founded the venture enterprise "Creative Light Science" in 2006. From the beginning of the company's establishment, Japan Aircraft Equipment invested in it and incorporated it as a subsidiary company in 2012. That is to say, after 2006, Japan Aircraft Installation has been under the guidance of two predecessors, Kazakhstan and Amano, in the form of joint research.
In October 2014, the Japanese machine installed in the light technology and products exhibition "InterOpto 2014" showed the deep ultraviolet LED products with the luminous wavelength of 255-350 nm, and began mass production in spring 2015. Japan Aircraft said that there is a need to replace mercury lamps in the fields of medical and life sciences such as sterilization and skin treatment, environmental fields such as detection and chemical decomposition, resin hardening and bonding, etc.
The first standard products of deep ultraviolet LED developed in Japan are 265 nm, 285 nm and 300 nm, which can be customized according to customers'requirements. The output power of 285 and 300 nm varieties was 30 mW when the input current was 350 mA, and that of 265 nm varieties was 12 mW when the input current was 350 mA.
On October 14 last month, Japan Airborne announced two major news on its official website. The world's highest output of 50 mW deep ultraviolet LED was successfully produced and a small water sterilization module for deep ultraviolet LED with low power consumption was developed. According to Japanese media Nikkei Online and Taiwan media digitimes, Japan Aircraft will launch a sample with 285 nm wavelength and 50 mW output power in January 2016, which is scheduled for mass production in spring. As long as water flows through the effective range of 50 mW deep ultraviolet light at a speed of 2-10 litres per minute, 99.9% sterilization effect will be achieved.
Japan Machinery has the ability to provide customers with deep ultraviolet LED monitoring function, as the highest market share in Japan's artificial dialysis device accessories. By continuously irradiating deep ultraviolet light to dialysate waste liquid flowing in the pipeline of the device and measuring the change of absorbance, the progress of waste removal can be mastered. In the medical field, it is also expected to be used in skin treatment using ultraviolet radiation with wavelength of 308 nm.
In 2014, the Japanese machine assembly increased the research and development of UV LED, and set up a new factory. The annual production capacity of UVB and UVC LED light source is more than 1 million groups. Japan Machinery emphasizes that its patented AlN crop technology makes its UVB and UVC LED more advantageous than ultraviolet lamps, such as mercury-free, compact and portable, flexible light-emitting wavelength, directional light-emitting, and low-voltage operation.
2. Asahi Kasei
Asahi Cheng is a global manufacturer of compound semiconductor equipment in Japan. Its business covers chemical, medical, electronic, textile, building materials and other fields. Asahi Huacheng has attracted intense attention in the field of UV LED, probably starting in late 2011 when it acquired Crystal IS, an American bactericidal LED technology development company. Crystal IS merged with Asahi to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi. Crystal IS can take advantage of its advantages in product engineering and excellent manufacturing to accelerate the commercialization of UVC LEDs. For Asahi, the advances in solid-state UVC technology achieved by Crystal IS can introduce clean and safe disinfection technology to water, air and surface applications in many markets.
Using Crystal IS technology, Asahi successfully changed the substrate material to AlN. Asahi Huacheng is building a test production line of ultraviolet LED with bactericidal effect in 2014. Although the annual production capacity is unknown, it is rumored that Asahi Huacheng plans to invest billions of yen in its subsidiary Fuji Branch and import equipment suitable for mass production in order to achieve the target of revenue of 30 billion yen in 2020.
It is reported that Asahi Cheng has successfully produced high purity AlN substrate. Although the output power of the products scheduled for sale in April 2016 is only 20 mW, the unit price of 1 mW will be reduced to $0.5-1 compared with $2-3 of other manufacturers, and may be further reduced to $0.25, which will open the home appliances market quickly at low prices.
Takayama Co., Ltd. is a famous comprehensive chemical company which produces caustic soda, cement, polycrystalline silicon, PVC, fumed silica and other products. Japan's UV LED industry relies on Japan's Famous City University, while Deshan cooperates with Tokyo Agricultural and Industrial University. The brightness, luminous efficiency and service life of deep ultraviolet LED lamps with wavelength of 260 nm are affected by the crystallization of the substrate. A joint research group composed of Tokyo Agricultural and Industrial University and Deshan has developed a technology to produce high purity aluminium nitride crystals, thus obtaining high-performance substrate crystallization, which ensures the sterilization effect and service life of LED lamps.
The joint research team said that they have successfully developed a new type of high-efficiency deep ultraviolet sterilization LED lamp, compared with the traditional low-pressure mercury lamp, with small size, power saving, environmental protection, long life and other advantages. This new type of deep ultraviolet LED lamp can work only with dry batteries, and can be used for portable sterilization devices and culture liquid sterilization, etc. This technology has been achieved in Japan and the United States.